|Doorman's repose (New York Review children's collection)|
Author: Raschka, Christopher
Some of us look up at those craggy, mysterious apartment buildings found in the posher parts of New York City and wonder what goes on inside. The Doorman's Repose collects ten stories of the doings of 777 Garden Avenue, one of the craggiest.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/17)
School Library Journal (04/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2017 Caldecott winner Raschka moves from picture book to illustrated chapter book in this humorous, thought-provoking collection of stories about the people—and mice—who live at 777 Garden Avenue, a New York City apartment building. Beginning with the building’s new doorman, Raschka introduces an odd assortment of tenants who frequently pop in and out of one another’s stories, lending coherence to the 10 individual tales. The eccentric cast of characters includes Fred, a war vet obsessed with pigeons and gravity; Mrs. MacDougal, the resident busybody; Victoria, a young girl fascinated by plumbing; and Jack Whitefoot, a mouse boxing champ training to take on a cat. Imagination is built into every detail, centering two of the most interesting stories around a forgotten music room and an old elevator, which become characters in their own right. The sophisticated writing style makes this book most appropriate for a middle-grade audience, though older readers will also appreciate 777 Garden Avenue’s intricacies. Ultimately, this curious character study reveals how everyone is connected, whether by fleeting interaction or grand gesture. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2017 Gr 4–7—A celebrated picture book author/illustrator turns his considerable creativity to a longer form. Eleven related stories all take place in a New York City apartment building. Leisurely, playful narration from an unnamed resident of the building immerses readers in a world that's imaginative, quirky, and often surprising. The narrator clearly loves the building and most of its inhabitants, which comes through in the telling. Human characters include the doorman and several interesting residents, young and old. A girl helps the super repair a depressed boiler in one story; another involves the inspection of the building's designated opera singer. Two stories feature mice, whose occupations include a boxer, a psychiatrist, and a jazz musician. There's even a sentient elevator named Otis; he is also a matchmaker. Readers gradually learn a bit more about the building and its history with each story. Themes of kindness and human (and animal) connectedness run through most of the tales, and these are summarized triumphantly by the doorman himself in the final chapter. Full-page black-and-white drawings provide pleasing introductions to each chapter, with more illustrations appearing throughout the book. VERDICT Plots about pigeon tenders, insomniac men, and old-fashioned elevators are not likely to grab the attention of young kids on their own, but this will make a good match for the right readers and also serve as an excellent recommendation for adults reading aloud to children.—Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.