#1111 – My Valley by Claude Ponti

My Valley
Written and Illustrated by Claude Ponti
Translated from French by Alyson Waters
Elsewhere Editions   3/07/2017
978-0-914671-62-6
42 pages    10 ¾” X 15 ½”   Ages 5—9

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“My Valley leads us on a journey through the enchanted world of the Twims—tiny, extremely loveable creatures. It is a universe where uprooted buildings soar through the sky, trees keep the secrets you whisper to them, magic seeds grow into huge ships, and singing stones make children’s wished come true.” [PRESS RELEASE]

Review
[WC 509]
My Valley is the home of the Twims—little, furry, honey bear-like critters, who live in a “house tree.” This house tree is located on a ridge of the most beautiful valley. Poochie-Blue is our tour guide. He is part of a large extended family; with four brothers, four sisters, parents, and two sets of grandparents all living in the family house tree. After a tour of his house tree—cavernous, comfortable, and often strange—Poochie-Blue takes us on a yearlong tour of My Valley.
If the wind blows in your favor, the Singing Stone will grant a wish placed upon its side. The Tree of Secrets, gnarly and mute, will keep your secrets indefinitely. The Cemetery contains many small gardens, where deceased Twims can lay for eternity in their favorite garden, such as the garden of the never-ending story. Angry Twims can go to the Theater of Hissy Fits and play out their wrath.

Surrounding My Valley are several specialized islands such as the Storytelling Pillows, an island with comfortable pillows to lay upon as you hear a story; a Surprise Island, where you receive a new present each day; or an edible Mushy Island, among others. My Valley is not without its strange occurrences, such as the Children Who Fell from the Sky and the Very Sad Giant.
Winter brings snow and all the activities that go with it, such as making snowmen—the Twim way—and gliding across the frozen river in little boats. But mostly, Poochie-Blue’s family likes to sit, lined up behind one another and read.
Summer is the time for play. On the Festival-of-the-Shortest-Night, none of the Twims sleeps. Instead, they eat from the Tree of Fruits. When it rains, they dive into a Magical Puddle and exit out one of many other puddles. Dads learn to be dads on Dads’ Night, when the statue of a large Twim dad appears on the mountainside. This is a secret, hush-hush affair. Poochie-Blue wants a Children’s Night, but, as his father explains, in Twim lands, every day is children’s day.

Children who have the opportunity to read My Valley will love the imaginative and creative places Ponti devised, simply because he could. My Valley is a fantastical journey across a mythical, magical land of mysteries. Mostly, the Twims love to read and several places are just for stories. House trees, such as Poochie-Blue’s contain libraries and reading rooms on every level. The illustrations are simply gorgeous! One wonderful example is Poochie-Blue’s favorite spot: The Observatory, at the end of a line of rocks overlooking the crystal-clear blue sea.
My Valley is gorgeous and wonderful. A child could easily, and happily, become lost in this valley of strange objects and creatures. My Valley sets creativity and imagination loose to expand on those things children enjoy (all but dinosaurs, but could be hidden somewhere, just waiting for a child to find them). My Valley is not a story, except for the one each child will construct on their own as they transverse the land, page by page.

MY VALLEY. Text and illustrations copyright © 1998, 2017 by Claude Ponti. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Elsewhere Editions, Brooklyn, NY.

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Add MY VALLEY to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

AWARDS
2016 Hemingway Grant Winners

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Reprinted with permission from MY VALLEY © 1998, 2017 by Claude Ponti, Elsewhere Editions, an imprint of Archipelago Books. Illustrations © 2017 by Claude Ponti.

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Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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My Valley
Written and Illustrated by Claude Ponti
Translated from French by Alyson Waters
Elsewhere Editions 3/07/2017
9780914671626

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