Cover image for The small world of Binky Braverman
Title:
The small world of Binky Braverman
Author:
Wells, Rosemary.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 29 x 24 cm
Summary:
Binky Braverman's stay with his aunt and uncle in Memphis unexpectedly proves to be full of adventure when characters on the boxes and jars in their kitchen come to life and become his friends.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 74461.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780670036363
Format :
Book

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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Summary

Summary

Poor Binky. He should be spending the summer playing with his friends. Instead, his parents send him to the big city, where Aunt Fran dresses him in itchy clothes and Uncle Julius teaches him about fractions. Things look pretty bleak until the night Binky spies some tiny figures hopping off of boxes and jars all over the kitchen: the trademarks have come to life! Together, Binky and his miniature friends-Sam the Banjo Man, the Paprika Twins, and Ike, who pilots a tiny propeller plane-transform a dreary summer into an extraordinary one. Rosemary Wells's endearing story about a lonely little boy is perfectly complemented in whimsical paintings by Richard Egielski.


Author Notes

Rosemary Wells was born in New York City on January 29, 1943. She studied at the Museum School in Boston. Without her degree, she left school at the age of 19 to get married. She began her career in publishing, working as an art editor and designer first at Allyn and Bacon and later at Macmillan Publishing.

She is an author and illustrator of over 60 books for children and young adults. Her first book was an illustrated edition of Gilbert and Sullivan's I Have a Song to Sing-O. Her other works include Martha's Birthday, The Fog Comes on Little Pig Feet, Unfortunately Harriet, Mary on Horseback, and Timothy Goes to School. She also created the characters of Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko, which are featured in some of her books. She has won numerous awards including a Children's Book Council Award for Noisy Nora in 1974, the Edgar Allan Poe award for two young adult books, Through the Looking Glass and When No One Was Looking, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Shy Charles.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

\f2\froman\fcharset1 TimesNewRoman; PreS-Gr. 2. In the summer of 1938, Stanley "Binky" Braverman is sent to his aunt and uncle's home until his new sister is born. At first he's miserable. He's force-fed at meals and made to wear itchy new clothes, learn math from Uncle Julius, and play cards with dishonest neighbor Leo. Binky yearns for home until a crowd of magical playmates leaps from the household's items: yellow bears from the syrup bottle, a banjo player from the match box, and so on. For the rest of the summer, Binky's tiny pals help him clean his plate, finish his homework, and catch Leo at cheating. The story uses the framing device of an older Stanley looking back, which feels unnecessarily contrived, and the vague message about imagination's power to transport is also weak. But mixed into the nostalgia are plenty of universal experiences from a child's viewpoint-- especially the ache to be powerful and determine one's own rules. Egielski's comic illustrations keep the focus on what will interest children most--the tiny, dancing, miraculous friends. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this book's magnetic preface, white-haired Stanley Braverman goes to pick up an inheritance from his late aunt. He finds his childhood clothes in the guest room of her empty house. "The pocket of a sailor suit still contained a wad of bubble gum. As the flavor swirled over Stanley's tongue, a forgotten summer flooded back as if sixty-five years was a wink on the smiling face of time." The Proustian gum takes Stanley back to 1938, when his parents, who are expecting a baby, send him to stay with his aunt in Memphis. But Stanley (aka Binky) prefers getting muddy in a rural swamp to wearing a suit and playing gin rummy. Late one night, Binky hears voices ("Oh, stay with us." "Yes, stay!"). Tiny characters, including the banjo player on a matchbox and the daredevil from a box of playing cards, have sprung to life to keep him company. Max and Ruby author Wells's plot strongly recalls Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden, in which another isolated boy accesses a miraculous world. Egielski's (Buz) sepia watercolors of the red-haired Binky, yellow-patterned wallpaper and old-fashioned kitchen and bath products reinforce the sense of a past American lifestyle. At the conclusion, Binky remains in the 1930s and leaves readers wondering about his 2003 self: having revisited his "small world," how does he awaken in the present day? This tantalizingly open-ended tale, especially its poignant introduction, explores the overlap between memory and imagination. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 4-When the grown-up Stanley "Binky" Braverman's 105-year-old Aunt Fran passes away, he returns to her home and is reminded of a powerful childhood memory. As a boy, he spent a summer in Memphis with his aunt and uncle while his parents prepared for a new baby. Even though his relatives adored him, Binky missed his friends and was uncomfortable in his fancy new city clothes. Late one night, he discovered that characters from various household products had come to life. He was no longer alone as the Yellow Bears from the syrup helped him finish breakfast and the Blue Nun from the ink bottle tutored him in long division. Ike, the friend he loved the best, soared from a deck of Pilot playing cards. Before returning home to his friends and family, Binky packed the items in his suitcase, but the little folks no longer communicated with him. In parting, Ike told him that if he was ever lonely again he should call them. Readers meet the adult Stanley in two introductory pages set before the title page, framing the story between present day and childhood memory. The watercolor illustrations complement Wells's imaginative text. Egielski's characteristic style evokes past times; the tones of the endpapers and selected spreads resemble sepia photographs. This gentle story will appeal to children, especially those who have had their own experiences with being away from home.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.