by David Almond
illustrated by Polly Dunbar
Candlewick Press, 2010. 117 pages.
Here’s a whimsical look at a boy with big ideas and the amazing things he finds when he’s willing to act on them.
Paul lives underground in a basement flat at the bottom of a great apartment block. One day, he decides to go and touch the sky.
On his way up the apartment building’s steps, he meets a variety of quirky characters, one of whom shows him the elevator. On the very top floor lives Mabel, the most interesting character of them all. Or is she Molly, Mabel’s identical twin sister, looking after Mabel’s apartment while Mabel is on holiday in Barbados?
Paul’s parents find Paul on the top floor, and Molly shows all of them a new way to look at the world. Paul admits that he is a person who has strange ideas, and all of them celebrate his ideas. They go on a strange adventure to visit Molly’s very shy brother, and eventually all the people in the apartment building help Paul to fulfill his wish of climbing to the moon.
This is a book of delightful nonsense, where logical things are stood on their heads. It celebrates strange ideas and self-belief and adventure and family and dreams coming true and poodles who fly. The illustrations are plentiful and full of fun. I have a feeling that children will “get” this book even better than imaginative adults.
This book is a quick read, perfect for a child who’s beginning to read chapter books, hopefully read when they are still young enough to freely and happily suspend disbelief. Anything is possible!
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Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.