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Up by Jim LaMarche
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Up (2006)

by Jim LaMarche

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I liked this book for many reasons. First, this book reminded me of one of my childhood favorites, Matilda. In both books, there is a child who has powers where they can move things with their mind. Matilda usually used her powers to get back at people who did her wrong, however, in Up, the boy used his powers for good. The boy’s dad and brother said he was too small to go fishing with them, so one day when he was stuck at home the boy found he had this power and used it to prove to his dad he was big enough to go on the fishing trip instead of staying home with mom. Another reason I liked this book is because of the illustrations. The illustrations really paint a picture that makes you feel like you’re at the beach. The beautiful watercolors brought the scenes to life as you read the descriptive words that went with them. I also liked this story because of message of the story. The story is about magic, and finding your own strengths to practice and build on. “Every day, like a weightlifter, he got a bit stronger. But though he could life heavy things, he could never life them high. Never back and forth, just up, and that, not much. I think this was a good quote from the story because it showed how much Daniel practiced to try and build on this new-found skill. This book is just an overall uplifting story, which is the final reason that I like this book because it shows students that if you are good at something, you can practice and become better to eventually use these skills for good, like Daniel did when lifting the beached whale. The main message of this book is that through hard work, your wildest dreams will come true. This is a great book to show students that even the smallest people can use their skills to make a big difference. ( )
  adyer4 | Mar 6, 2017 |
A small boy is deeply hurt by his father's refusal to allow him to help on their fishing boat - and his older brother's nasty teasing. But one day he discovers he has a special ability. Much practice and patience hone his magical ability and when it matters most he shows his dad he's not too small to help.

LaMarch's luminous illustrations shine with the warmth of Daniel's passion to help and the delight in his new and strange ability. Every small detail of the house and sea is perfectly integrated into the story and the setting. Children who are tired of being told they're "too small" will revel in the simple but satisfying conclusion.

Verdict. Gorgeous illustrations, but the text is a little too long for what I'm buying right now. We have LaMarche's Lost and Found (dog stories) and they're much more popular than this would be at our library. Another time maybe.

ISBN: 0811844455; Published July 2006 by Chronicle (out of print); Borrowed from the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Jan 11, 2012 |
A lovely gentle story of a small boy learning just how big he really is.

Everybody calls Daniel "Mouse," and think he is too small to ever be of any help.One day he discovers a special power. It isn't very big, and he doesn't think it can ever be of use, but it gets stronger with practice. Then one day he finds out what use his power is destined for.

The artwork is soft, beautiful, and quite evocative of the seashore and the fishing village where Daniel and his family live. I really love this book. ( )
  MerryMary | Aug 2, 2011 |
ELIB 530A - LibraryThing Part B – Picture Book 3
This book centers around a young boy, Daniel, who longs to be viewed as older and stronger than he is so that he can join his father and older brother on their fishing boat. The family has always affectionately called him “Mouse” which he hasn’t minded until recently. When he is once again left behind with his mother, in his frustration he has a hallucination that he has levitated a cracker on the table. He isn’t sure if he should trust it so he begins to imagine that he will be able to levitate objects if he practices hard enough. His imagination and belief in his ability carries him through days spent playing and practicing alone, until one day he has a chance to prove his worth in a group. A whale has beached itself and he and his mother find the father, brother and others trying to help it back into deep waters. The group is having no luck until he and his mother pitch in. The author brings the reader into Daniel’s childlike frame of mind through multi-sensory descriptions of the ocean and the wildlife around it, Daniel’s emotional and physical connection to the whale and Daniel’s concentration and faith in his ability to help the whale.
The strength of a child’s belief in magic and faith in positive outcomes shines throughout this story. In the end Daniel has bolstered his self worth by himself and he finally, through proving his worth to the group, is able to join his father and brother on the fishing boat.
  barefootTL | Jul 8, 2010 |
On the one hand, what we have is an uplifting story about a boy who is told he's "too little" to be any use when his dad and brother go fishing, even though the other boys his age already get to help out. And it's also a story of a boy practicing and practicing a skill, being dedicated to it until it can be useful. (That the skill - lifting objects in the air - is fantastical is beside the point.) And of course it's a story of saving a whale's life - great.

But the end of the story hinges upon Mouse's father knowing he's mature and strong enough to help on the boat... which he knows because... he asks to help save the whale, like everybody else is doing and like he always asks to join in things that his older brother does? Or maybe he only gets to go on the boat because he saved the whale... even though nobody knows his secret and they all think it was just their own hard work and pushign that unbeached it...?

The ending just doesn't hold up well with the rest of the book. ( )
  conuly | Aug 23, 2009 |
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"Hey, Mouse, have fun making cookies with Mommy today!" Michael yelled over the screeching gulls.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811844455, Hardcover)

Daniel was tired of being little. Mouse! They'd been calling him that since he was born. He hadn't used to mind it, even liked it once, but not anymore. He poked at some crackers on the table. "Someday I'll be so strong," he mumbled. "Someday . . ."

And then it happened. Something so strange, Daniel wasn't sure he could believe his eyes. One little cracker trembled for a second, then lifted up off the table. Not much. Not even an inch. Then, just as suddenly, it dropped right back down. Daniel blinked. Had that really happened? How? Had he done it?

Up is the story of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary talent, a talent no one knows about but him. Can Mouse really lift things off the ground? Or is it enough that he believes he can? Once again Jim LaMarche has mixed the magical with the everyday to create a book that stretches our imaginations and our dreams.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:51 -0400)

Tired of being called Mouse and staying home while his brother helps on their father's fishing boat, Daniel proves himself when a problem arises that he can solve using his newly-developed, extraordinary talent.

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