Friday, April 1, 2011

Johnny Castleseed by Edward Ormondroyd, illustrated by Diana Thewlis

This was one of my favorite books as a child although objectively it's nothing memorable. Ormondroyd has written many much better books, the text is lengthy and the illustrations are rather bland and a bit outdated. A little boy and his dad walk through the woods to the beach, where they have a picnic. Evan tells his dad about Johnny Appleseed, whom he learned about in school, and his dad tells him about Johnny Castleseed. Evan isn't quite sure he believes this, but once he and his dad get started building a magnificent castle, sure enough Johnny Castleseed shows up.

What I really love about this story is the part where Ormondroyd abruptly transitions from the stilted interactions between parent and child and speaks directly to the reader, showing you how to create an amazing sand castle with just your hands and some water and sand. This is, happily, the bulk of the book and it's absolutely fascinating. The illustrations of the sand castle are alluring too, a nice blend of softened colors and photographic realism.

Verdict: This is out of print anyways, and rather outdated for a library, but definitely worth borrowing before a trip to the beach for sand castle building instructions!

ISBN: N/A; Published November 1988 by Houghton Mifflin; Borrowed from the library; Added to my personal wishlist

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