Tuesday, December 1, 2009


by Donna Jo Napoli
Illustrated by Jim LaMarche

Thumbs up.

In this quirky picture book, the main character, Albert is not quite normal. Albert appears to be a young man, but he looks very child like. I'm not sure whether Ms. Napoli was trying to portray a man with OCD or on the autism spectrum.

At any rate, regardless of his unusual personality, Albert is very lovable. He decides each day whether or not to go out based on the weather. But alas, his judgment of the weather is based upon what kind of noises are emanating from the streets below his apartment.

When an act of kindness toward a pair of cardinals traps him at the window for an extended time, he learns that not everything that at first sounds ugly truly is.

The illustrations are fabulous and really help to define Albert. An altogether beautiful celebration of the unusual.


  1. I knew this sounded familiar. It's in the ages 7 & 8 FIAR book. It was a lovely story.

  2. Oh, cool. I never really checked out any of the newer FIAR stuff. I have my Volumes I And II and the Before. I know of people who have some of the others, but never had any reason to peruse them.

    Did you do it for FIAR? Do you remember what kinds of learning recommendations they had? I can think of a few potentials,: urban neighborhoods and personality differences or social studies; cardinals and nesting for science. The art could make really nice practice and discussion. I suppose one might do math concepts in the length of days he stood there. And I guess I'd have to re-read it to pinpoint any Language Arts Stuff.

    Just curious.