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Paper John by David Small
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Paper John

by David Small

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When a somewhat eccentric paper-folding man named John comes to a little village by the sea, the residents are charmed by his lovely creations, from folded paper flowers, to a tiny fleet of paper boats (distributed to the village children), and are soon won over by his gentle, kindhearted nature. Dubbing the newcomer "Paper John," they accept him (and his extraordinary paper house - lacquered, in order to make it waterproof) into their community. When a gray demon is fished out of the water, and wreaks havoc on the village, they have reason to be thankful for this decision, as Paper John, and his house-cum-boat come to the rescue...

Although I have read quite a few children's books illustrated by the talented David Small - Sarah Stewart's The Library, and The Gardener, Elise Broach's When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, Heather Henson's That Book Woman - this is only the second title, following upon the classic Imogene's Antlers (a personal favorite!), that I have read that is both written and illustrated by him. I found the story charming, with its fairy-tale feeling - the stranger who comes to town, the defeat of the devil/demon figure, by a seemingly "simple" hero: these are common folk motifs - and charming artwork. Some of the visual details - the changing expression on the sun-face kite that Paper John is making, before and after the arrival of the demon - are really quite droll! Recommended to young readers who enjoy fairy-tales, and to fans of David Small. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 13, 2013 |
Paper John can make anything out of paper: a hat, flower bouquet, house, boats and more. One night a little devil is tied up outside the window; Paper John rescues him and shares food and lodging. The devil steals from the townspeople and attempts an escape on Paper John's kite. Trapped, the devil calls on the four winds to destroy the town. Paper John proves himself to be heroic, while the devil goes 'back to where he came from.' The story is complemented by the colorful illustrations. ( )
  MrsBond | Nov 25, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374457255, Paperback)

Paper John moves to a little town by the edge of the sea and makes his living folding beautiful paper flowers, birds, and boats. HE is so skilled he even makes a paper house to live in. And he is so gentle and good-natured that the townsfolk all agree he could get along with the devil himself. But when a devil comes to town, Paper John's skill and patience is put to the test as he does battle with the devil and his one devilish trick. Lively full-color paintings add to all the fun.
David Small is the illustrator of many books for children, including Anna and the Seven Swans, a Booklist Editor's Choice and a School Library Journal Best Book for 1984. His most recent book, Imogene's Antlers, is a 1986 Reading Rainbow Feature Selection. This is his first book with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Mr. Small lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A good-hearted fellow who lives by the sea in a paper house and makes paper boats for the village children comes up against the devil in a life or death situation which can be salvaged only by his skill with paper folding.

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