A sign

George Ella Lyon, 1949-

Book - 1998

The author simply describes how she considered various careers as she grew and how she combined them all into her work as a writer.

Saved in:

Children's Room Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Lyon Checked In
Picture books
New York : Orchard Books 1998.
Main Author
George Ella Lyon, 1949- (-)
Other Authors
Chris K. Soentpiet (illustrator)
Physical Description
unpaged : ill
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Ages 5^-9. Using a picture-book format, Lyon looks back on her life and on how her dreams for her future became reality--though in very different ways than she fantasized. As a small girl, Lyon had a neighbor who made neon signs, and she, too, wanted to be able to bend glass tubes. Seeing a tightrope walked at the circus inspired her wish to do the same, and watching Alan Shepard on television made her want to become an astronaut. Any enthusiast of children's literature knows that Lyon became a writer, but in a way she did follow those other paths, too: "I don't bend glass tubes with fire . . . but I try to make words glow. / I don't work the high wire . . . I put one word in front of the other . . . and hope the story won't fall." And the rocket blasting into space is the words that Lyon sends to her readers: "They light the dark between us." Readers will feel that connection between themselves and Lyon and her aspirations. Soentpiet's handsomely rendered realistic watercolor artwork both evokes the 1950s and 1960s, when Lyon was growing up, and extends Lyon's point about the various ways dreams can come true. --Ilene Cooper

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Lyon's (Dream Place) lyrical, autobiographical poem and Soentpiet's (Peacebound Trains) glowing paintings unfold quietly, articulating with deft simplicity the complex relationship between an artist's childhood dreams and adult achievements. Using three extended metaphors, Lyon tells of her childhood ambitions‘first, to be a maker of neon signs like her neighbor, "each letter buzzing, beautiful," then to be a tight-rope walker who can "work the silver line./ So high/ so strong/ each step/ her life/ in the balance," and finally to be an astronaut who blasts off "writing a road to the stars." Though the choice of the cover painting is a bit uninspired, Soentpiet's interior watercolors are splendid recreations of small town scenes in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as dazzling circus lights and the black-and-white view via a television screen of Alan Shepherd's launch into space. The book initially appears to be simply a nostalgic look back, until Lyons expands on her three childhood aspirations and, with great simplicity, shows readers how elements of each have influenced her as a writer. Both Soentpiet's shimmering depiction of flickering stars in the vast rosy darkness and Lyon's musical poem glow with beauty and a hopeful message for readers that dreams really can come true. Ages 5-9. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3‘A child sees her future in signs. First comes the glowing neons made by neighbor Leon. She will be a sign maker. As she grows older, other things seem to distract her from this initial vision. She visits a circus and wants to become a tight rope walker. She sees a rocket launch and wants to be an astronaut. What is her fate? She is a writer, making words glow like the neon, balancing them on the high wire, and sending them out like a rocket to the hearts of her readers. Soentpiet's realistic watercolors are suffused with light and bring this very brief autobiographical essay to colorful life.‘Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Overlit realistic paintings chronicle the narrator's girlhood vision of what she wants to be when she grows up--from sign maker, to circus performer, to astronaut. At the end of this spare autobiographical piece, Lyons reveals how her work as a writer compares to these professions, using metaphors that reach a bit too high of a crescendo but nevertheless make her point. From HORN BOOK Fall 1998, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Lyon (Counting on the Woods, p. 115, etc.) writes of all the things she wanted to do or to be when she was a child, attempting to bring those youthful ambitions together to account for the career she ultimately chose. The miraculous colors and curves of neon signs, the old-fashioned thrill of tightrope-walking, and the modern marvel of space exploration are all part of Lyon's childhood dreams: to make the signs, walk the line, and ride a rocket to the moon. Soentpiet's illustrations of young George Ella are laden with nostalgic scenes from America 40 years ago. The setting leaps precipitously forward to an illustration that is startling in its frank modernity after the more tender evocations of the past: Lyon in the present, staring out at readers from her computer, where she tries ""to make words glow,"" to ""put one word in front of the other,"" and ""hope the story won't fall,"" etc. These comparisons between the art of writing and those long-ago wishes may be patently linked for her, but are more tenuous for readers. Those who love Lyon's books will have a too-brief glimpse of her childhood; those seeking a lesson about finding one's purpose will find that and nothing more. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.