Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 06/01/2015 Gr 1–3—Rufus is a dreamy, imaginative kid with loads of creative energy. He decides to put his talents to work for him one summer by running a "story stand." The boy dons a bow tie and sets himself up with a table and his pens in his front yard and gets down to business. Rufus prides himself in crafting each story to suit his customers' tastes and interests. The book contains four of his fully illustrated child-centric selections. Groenink chooses a lush and delicious sun-drenched palette for his upbeat and lively full-bleed gouache, acrylic, and pencil artwork. Rufus's own creations are clearly set off from the main narrative by orange borders and depictions of different writing implements. You might ask yourselves what kind of a kid turns down a trip to the beach? One who takes himself and his creativity seriously. His neighbor Sara asks, "How much will it [a story] cost?" Rufus replies, "Whatever you think. Surprise me." The highlight comes at the end of the day when the friends gather to exchange their barters and read their stories. Upon receiving "Annie and the Dancing Teapot" as an early birthday gift, Rufus's sister Annie says, "This is the best present ever! Can you read it to me?" "Of course," he replied. VERDICT A charming, celebratory ode to the writing life and those who follow their artistic inclinations wherever they lead.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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