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Book Title: Always|
The author of the book: Alison McGhee
ISBN 13: 9781616845513
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 729 KB
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Loaded: 2481 times
Reader ratings: 7.8
Edition: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Date of issue: May 15th 2010
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In the opening page of the book Always, Allison McGhee portrays a small dog standing in front of an ordinary house proclaiming, “I am the keeper of the castle. This castle. And I will keep the castle safe”. This dog develops human-like qualities and fights to the end of the earth to protect his castle, making the story focused on true friendship, loyalty, and love. The small dog fights off meteors with baseball bats, faces monsters head on, stops savage beasts, blocks lightning by biting right through it, and ultimately defends against anything that poses a threat to the castle. As the story continues, the question is posed as to why the dog would put him life on the line to protect what seems like an ordinary wooden house to many readers. This intriguing question keeps the reader engaged in the battles the dog faces until the end of the book where the true motivation of the little dog is unveiled.
As I gazed into a sea of books in the children’s section of the library, this story stood out to me as one that could relate to many children with fun and imaginative pictures. The text on each page is very short and simple, allowing for early readers to be able to understand and read along. While the text is simple, the pictures truly add meaning and enhance understanding of the enormity of what the little dog has to protect the castle against. My favorite example of this is when the dog declares, “I will chase away evil.” This sentence can be interpreted and imagined in many different ways by the reader, but McGhee illustrates the dog fighting off a vicious looking gang of four pirate rats. This imagery adds provides a whole new level of imagination and meaning that would not be attained by looking at the text alone. McGhee also deepens the readers understanding of the story through the design elements she incorporates. Throughout the story, the background is colored with a tint of red and yellow. The red represents the love and passion the dog carries throughout the story, while the yellow illustrates the dog’s pride in protecting the castle because it is his duty. From all the different elements of the story, the reader can take away the importance of loyalty to the things you love and how it is important to protect your loved ones even against all odds. Overall, I believe this adorable children’s picture book is very well written with an amazing interplay between the words and the pictures in order to leave the children with their imaginations working and instill a very important message about love.
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Read information about the authorAlison McGhee writes novels, picture books, poems, and essays for all ages, including the forthcoming novel Never Coming Back (out in October 2017) and the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller SOMEDAY, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. She lives in Minneapolis, California and Vermont.
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