Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 09/01/2021 K-Gr 4—This poetic narrative, with quiet, thoughtful illustrations, depicts a young boy in winter trying to find the right words to start a story. Voiced in the second person, the sequence of events will feel utterly familiar to writers of any age and especially reassuring to new, young ones as they watch how finding ideas takes time and focus. Uncluttered spaces between text lines and illustrated elements within the boy's room match the purposeful pauses from the task at hand: the boy gets a snack, reads other stories, and doodles as he waits for words to come.The white, gold, and blue-toned colors lightly infuse the careful, penned outlines of the spare walls, crumpled papers, and cheerful, pensive expressions flitting across the boy's face as he thinks. Inspiration strikes unexpectedly, as a small form flits outside the boy's snowy window, echoing how, little by little, authors' words can piece together a tale experienced or imagined from their own point of view. Hopkinson's words gently encourage readers to remember that this craft takes patience, but also how there is something remarkable about finding your unique voice. VERDICT A comforting read for anyone who writes and a precise, essential "hook" book for elementary writing lessons, this book will ease young scribes into their next story.—Rachel Mulligan, Westampton, NJ - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 11/01/2021 *Starred Review* The Chinese proverb “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” can also be applied to writing. One winter day, a young boy decides he wants to write a story and gathers paper, pencils, and a snack. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that writing is not as easy as simply wanting to write. After several failed attempts and with drafts littering the floor, he considers giving up and just settling for reading other people’s stories. But his desire to create is too strong. While gazing out the window, the child watches a chickadee take only one seed, fly to a branch, eat it, and return to the feeder for another. Understanding that eating like that requires much time, patience, and tenacity, the child decides to model that behavior and tries again to write his tale by putting down just one word at a time. Hopkinson ends her tale and encourages readers to write their own story entitled “The Chickadee” by offering example sentences for the beginning, middle, and end. Charming illustrations— made using pen, ink, and paint, and completed on Photoshop—are delightful to pore over. Observant readers will see the small black-and-white bird and the pinecone feeder that are clearly visible from the child’s window and enjoy watching the antics of the boy’s faithful canine sidekick. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

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