Cover image for Outside
Gill, Deirdre, author, illustrator.
Publication Information:
Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
When his brother refuses to come outside, a child plays by himself in the snow and creates an imaginary world.
Format :


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Angola Public Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Collins Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Aurora Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Elma Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Marilla Free Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Seasonal
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Programming Workroom-2nd Floor

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In this gentle picture book fantasy, a child's world transforms through his hard work, imagination, and persistence when he opens the door and steps outside, into to the brave new world of his imagination.

Author Notes

Deirdre Gill was inspired to write this, her first story, from her own experiences of playing outside as a child. The outdoors is still a source of wonder and excitement for Deirdre-the place she goes to "see the possibilities" as well as to ski, hike, and bike with her family. She lives in snowy Vermont with her husband, Jason Chin, also a children's book author and artist, and their son.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This debut picture book makes a strong case for the superiority of imaginative play over that of TV, computer games, and so on. Two boys are stuck inside the house after a massive snowstorm. The smaller boy tries to get the older one to play in the snow, but he refuses, so the younger one ventures out alone. From the moment that the boy falls backward off the bottom step, making a snow angel, readers will feel that they've left a crowded, stuffy interior for a blank white canvas alive with possibility. Action and fantasy build as the boy rolls a small snowball through the forest until it becomes a massive snow statue that comes alive and plays with the boy. The duo build a turreted snow castle that's visited by a calm-looking dragon, which carries the boy on its back over the forest and all the way home. Gill's oil-on-paper illustrations, shifting from white to golden to blue, transport the reader through an eventful snow day. Both boys playing outside at book's end provide a satisfying resolution.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Newcomer Gill's story starts on a winter afternoon as a boy tries to persuade his older brother to play outside. (In a collection of otherwise dreamlike spreads, the image of the older boy staring slack-jawed at his computer provides a moment of comedy.) Alone outside, the younger boy builds a gigantic snowman as snow-blanketed spruce trees watch over him; although he doesn't realize it, they're alive. Imagination reigns as the snowman, too, comes to life, peers gently down at the boy, then helps him build a magnificent snow castle. At day's end, the sunset takes shape as a gold- and rose-tinted dragon: "Together the boy and the dragon fly over the trees, over the house, and above the village, until the world below looks very small." Gill understands the dynamics of storytelling and uses economical narration and white space with practiced skill. There's a push-and-pull between the charm of the boy's solitary adventure and the need to resolve the conflict with his older brother; their reconciliation is a tad hasty. Nevertheless, Gill's ability to make the world of imagination come alive is indisputable. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-As an unnamed boy steps outside into the winter snow, he discovers a fantastical playground for his imagination to run rampant. He rouses an imaginary snow friend, a castle, and even a dragon that takes flight across the wintery pages. The brief text has a pleasant simplicity that rambles with a tempered pace while focusing attention on the more weighty and inspiring pictures. Often occurring within sentences, the page turns feel a bit choppy but don't distract too much from the imaginative narrative, inscribed with a touch of poetry. Although there is also something slightly disjointed about the story-in particular, a scene where the snow friend is left behind while the protagonist takes off with the dragon, this book is a solid purchase. The oil-paint illustrations have a likable levity, such as in the boy's slack expression of boredom as he steps backward into the snow, his brother having refused to come out and play. Gill's use of color highlights the boy's red coat, the soft greens of the house, and the golden orange of the dragon, and maintains a lively air despite the soft browns and icy blue shades mixed into the austere landscape. Complete with a nod or two to Ezra Jack Keats's classic The Snowy Day, Outside is a fun opportunity to take a leap of the imagination into softly rendered wintery pages and settle into the wonderland of the outside world.- Erin Reilly-Sanders, Ohio State University, Columbus (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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