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My valley
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"A journey through an enchanted world inhabited by 'Twims' (tiny, adorable, monkey-like creatures), secret tree dwellings, flying buildings, and sad giants"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A journey through an enchanted world inhabited by "Twims"--tiny monkey-like creatures--secret tree dwellings, flying buildings, and sad giants. - (Baker & Taylor)

In My Valley, Claude Ponti leads us on a journey through an enchanted world inhabited by "Touims" (tiny, adorable, monkey-like creatures), secret tree dwellings, flying buildings, and sad giants. Clever language and beautifully detailed maps of imaginary landscapes will delight children and adults alike. Ponti himself has said, "My stories are like fairytales, always situated in the marvelous, speaking to the interior life and emotions of children. That way each child can get what they want out of the images: the characters and dreams are their own." - (Random House, Inc.)

Author Biography

CLAUDE PONTI is a prolific author, painter, and illustrator, known for his humorous explorations of the nonsense world of dreams. His first picture book, Adele's Album, was created to amuse his young daughter; he has since authored more than sixty children's books. On a personal note, Claude says: "I'm left-handed; I prefer cats to dogs (they don't lick people); and I'm not a vegetarian because I can't stand the cry of the lettuce or the carrot wrenched from the earth." He also fondly remembers climbing trees as a young boy, looking for the best spot to sit and read a book. Claude Ponti currently divides his time between the French countryside (where there are many birds, such as pheasants) and Paris (where there are pigeons).

Translator ALYSON WATERS's translations include Albert Cossery's A Splendid Conspiracy and The Colors of Infamy, Vassilis Alexakis's Foreign Words, René Belletto's Coda, and - with Donald Nicholson-Smith - Yasmina Khadra's Cousin K. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Yale University and New York University. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Booklist Reviews

Poochie-Blue is one of many Twims, squirrel-­like creatures who live in a tree overlooking a beautiful valley, and, in this oversize picture book, he gives readers a tour of his home and its many wonders over the course of the year. Poochie-Blue tells of the valley's islands, like "Surprise Island, where you find a new present every day"; Dads' Night ("A big statue of Dad Twims appears on the mountain. And all dads go inside it to learn how to be a dad"); the Theater of Hissy Fits, where Twims go when they get mad; and plenty more. The paragraphs of surreal snippets are full of nonsensical language, but there are also moments of pithy meaning, like when Poochie-Blue explains Twims cemeteries. While there's no real narrative, Ponti's beautiful, intricate illustrations contain strange details hinting at larger stories. The guileless narrative sounds like it came directly from the brain of a child with a vivid imagination, and fanciful kids drawn by the enchanting artwork might find their own imaginations sparked by this odd, playful French import. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2—A rare English-language translation brings Ponti, a beloved children's book creator in France, to American audiences for the first time since Chick and Chickie Play All Day. The shelf-defeating trim size allows ample space for Ponti's retro illustrations and whimsical style as he introduces the Twims, round-faced rodentlike creatures with large families and extensive free time. The book contains no narrative arc but dips in and out of the geographic territory, lifestyle, and traditions of the verdant valley's cutesy denizens. Each spread offers a new aspect of the Twims' experience—some thoughtful, some twee, and almost all designed to appeal to lovers of coziness and domestic details. A tour of the central family's House Tree, for example, provides a cutaway reminiscent of the art in Jill Barklem's "Brambly Hedge," with a dash of absurdism as the elevation reveals a trapeze room and a swimming pool among the winter storerooms and open hearths. The vignettes shift from playful (a vast game of wind-borne "telephone") to contemplative (a gorgeous panorama from atop a solitary staircase) to bizarre (a flying apartment building shedding Twims); the scattershot nature of the book invites readers to pore over the detailed illustrations and immerse themselves in the fanciful mythology.

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

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