AlbertBy Donna Jo Napoli (Author), Jim LaMarche (Illustrator)
Whimsical and Unique!
Albert wakes up every day to the sounds of the neighborhood happenings. The dog barking, people walking and children giggling. Some are good sounds and some are not. Every day Albert sticks his hand out to check the weather. Every day he decides that the weather is either “too cold” or “too wet” or “too hot”. It’s never just “right” for Albert to go out for a walk. So he sits back down at his table and enjoys drinking his juice and reading his newspaper.
One day, as usual, Albert sticks his hand out of his window. And in the next instant, a twig lands in his palm! He looks up in surprise and finds a cardinal flying by and dropping twig after twig right into his open palm. Soon there are two cardinals, a bright red male and a brown yellow female, BOTH dropping twigs in an attempt to build a nest! Before Albert could realize it, the two birds had fluttered and fussed, poked and pulled at the twigs and the female has settled right in.
Albert stares at the scene, and feels completely lost! Thus follows a strange, perplexing story of Albert and his conundrum as the two birds leave him stranded right at the window. Author Napoli does an incredible job of telling the story of recluse Albert and how the little “situation” leaves Albert thinking differently about life outside his own little “nest”.
The warm and wonderful illustrations of by Jim LaMarche brings a certain depth to the story telling. We loved the large sized full page illustrations. These make for a great read aloud too. Jim LaMarche’s pencil illustrations visually describes each scene vividly.
This is an astounding tale. What makes this book such a great read is the incredibility of the situation and how the author gently, without preaching, and with great skill works her way to a really happy ending. We loved this story at the very first read. Napoli takes tough themes such as freedom and incapacity and explains them simply. A must read for all seasons!