You Can't Be Too Careful!
You Can't Be Too Careful!

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Annotation: Introduces a colorful cast of characters whose fates are connected in different ways, exploring the importance of kindness and the dangers of greed.
Catalog Number: #160063
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 36
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-914671-64-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1072-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-914671-64-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1072-5
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 25 x 27 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Mello unspools a long, strange chain of people and events, only to reverse course and present an alternate (and frankly much cheerier) timeline. It all begins with White Rose, a flower carefully watched by a gardener; he never leaves the flower-s side, not even after catching cold from walking around barefoot. The gardener-s shoes, Mello explains, were hidden by his cat, a gift from his brother, whose wife inherited the pet from her uncle, who -died of sorrow waiting for a love letter that never came.- More than a dozen eccentric interconnected characters are introduced from there-an escaped circus monkey, an irate goldsmith, a -fake doctor- with bagpiping dreams, and more. It-s like a floral equivalent to the butterfly effect, all leading back to White Rose, who suddenly reappears to steal the compass rose off a map. But how can she, if she-s still being watched by the gardener? Mello-s twisty, exaggerated images are as unruly as the paradoxical story he presents. Readers may not know what to believe, and when White Rose escapes at book-s end-for real, this time-it-s anyone-s guess what chaos might follow. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Like the handle on a windup toy that moves clockwise until it stops and spins in reverse, the 2014 Hans Christian Anderson Award winner manipulates a chain of actions and consequences—and then imagines the momentum flowing backward with entirely different outcomes.As a barefooted gardener keeps watch over a white rose, the reasons for and importance of his shoelessness are traced through the motivations of eccentric characters. They include a man who dies brokenhearted after a seamstress's love letter is dropped by a letter carrier preoccupied with retrieving a ring and Rajah The Malodorous, whose sour-milk baths, prescribed by a charlatan, lead his betrothed to engineer her own kidnapping. Ultimately everything hinges on a map whose compass rose has been stolen, an unidentified someone claims, by the white rose. But wait—the narrator announces that the white rose couldn't have stolen the compass rose, thereby altering everyone's fates. Elegant linework mixes with torn paper and soft, textured colors as a parade of luminous, exotic caricatures and their accouterments unfold against a white backdrop; the effect is magical. The interactions probe issues around wealth, possession, and compassion. Mello's plot is made all the more mind-boggling with framing and intermediary scenes that are either voiced by an unreliable narrator or require fresh listening and looking. Complex and provocative, this Brazilian import will intrigue readers who like puzzles and frustrate those who don't. (Picture book. 8-12)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3
Lexile: 760L

The White Rose is guarded closely by the gardener, who once caught a cold walking barefoot trying to find his shoes, which had been hidden by a cat, which was a gift from his younger brother, who was married to Dalva, who had inherited the cat from her uncle, who died of a broken heart awaiting a love letter that never arrived... Eventually, we see how one tiny action can have marvelous consequences, and the story turns like a ferris wheel. With a playful lightness of touch, Mello explores serious questions about the importance of kindness and the dangers of greed. Mello's illustrations will inspire his young readers, providing them with familiar and approachable images while encouraging imagination to fill in the narrative gaps, as he captures the mysteries of childhood through rich, vibrant imagery.


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