Bound To Stay Bound

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 It came in the mail
 Author: Clanton, Ben

 Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2016)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [38] p., col. ill., 28 cm.

 BTSB No: 215927 ISBN: 9781481403603
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Mailboxes -- Fiction
 Postal service -- Fiction

Price: $22.08

After Liam writes to his mailbox, asking for more mail, he gets his wish, but soon he realizes that sending mail is even more fun than receiving it.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 1.80
   Points: .5   Quiz: 182668
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: K-2
   Reading Level: 2.30
   Points: 1.0   Quiz: 71374

   Kirkus Reviews (04/01/16)
   School Library Journal (06/01/16)
   Booklist (05/15/16)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/16)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 05/15/2016 “Liam loved to get mail. Too bad he never got any.” Faced with a perpetually empty mailbox, Liam realizes that maybe if he sent mail, he would receive some. Unsure about whom to contact, he decides to write a letter to his mailbox. Happily, his mailbox responds by sending a fire-breathing dragon addressed to Liam. Encouraged, he writes again, and the mailbox answers with a parade of amazing things. A whale with wings, marked “Air Whale,” arrives. Pigs, pickles, a bone, a robot, a baseball, a book—Liam literally is buried in the mailbox’s largesse! Faced with an excess of interesting items, Liam and his friend Jamel start mailing things to kids all over the world. Full of wordplay and visual jokes, this imaginative fantasy takes a child’s wish seriously and then humorously explores it to extreme fulfillment. The scratchy, cartoonish illustrations, rendered in pencil and watercolor, include typed text, speech bubbles, decorated envelopes, and written letters to present a visually appealing and entertaining epistolary adventure. The playful message about generosity doesn’t hurt either. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 PreS-Gr 1—Liam almost gets his freckles scorched off when he opens the mailbox at the end of his driveway and meets Sizzlefritz for the first time. Once the dragon's flames die down, readers see Liam has a toothy smile because he's finally gotten something in the mail. In his thank you letter, he writes, "You are the best mailbox ever!" Once Liam learns the secret to receiving mail (and it's not what you think), he is bombarded with surprises like a funny bone that tells jokes, a whale stamped "air whale," and a wearable red mustache. In the process of finding homes for all his mail, he learns that he enjoys sending things more than receiving them. Against a backdrop of lined paper and burned envelopes, the pencil and watercolor characters say things like "diddly-squat," "krink," and "squibble, wibble, whoop!" Clanton's latest picture book reminds readers that the mailbox is and will always be a magical invention, no matter where you live in the world. VERDICT Storytimes and classroom units on community helpers will be enlivened by a read-aloud of this selection.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2016 Liam loves to get mail, or he would love it, if he ever received any. In a moment of inspiration, he sends a letter to his mailbox, asking it to send him “something BIG!” The mailbox delivers and in grand fashion: when Liam opens the box, he is singed by the fiery breath of the friendly dragon inside. When Liam sends additional requests for mail, he is inundated with a flood of crazy deliveries (pickles, pigs, a funny bone, a flying whale) by his obliging mailbox. The outpouring gets to be overwhelming, though, so Liam enlists the mailbox’s help in spreading the love; as Liam stuffs various items back into the box, they are then sent to other kids’ mailboxes, resulting in the sharing of joy. The simple text plays the story straight, but illustrative speech bubbles and sound effects (“TOOT! WHIRR! WINK SQUIBBLE WIBBLE WHOOP!”) emphasize the humor, as does the old-school draftsmanship that’s just this side of cartoonish. Photographic images of envelopes and postcards, incorporated into the backgrounds of many scenes, add interest, and the dragon-arrival page is cleverly punctuated by realistic-looking burnt spots. The wish-fulfillment plot will appeal to kids and could be used to liven up a mail-themed storytime, to rekindle interest in a letter-writing lesson, or to spark some creative writing. JH - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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