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Gecko Guides
01 April 2018
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a translated French book which does not shy from the difficulties that face some members of our society. The old man of the title has been depersonalised by homelessness. It follows him through his long and lonely day - trying to find something to eat, somewhere to rest and sleep. At the same time, a little girl goes though her day - and when they intersect, a simple act of kindness leaves them both with something of value... Expressive watercolour and pencil illustrations and a valuable non-strident message simply conveyed. Primary ages. Lindy Jones

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Day breaks over the town. Wake up, everybody! Its time to go to school. Its time for the old man to get up, too. The night was icy and hes hungry. His name? He no longer knows... This is the story of a person with no job, no family, no homea nobody, who cant even remember his name. But his day changes when he is noticed by a child.
By:   Sarah V
Illustrated by:   Claude K. Dubois
Imprint:   Gecko Guides
Country of Publication:   New Zealand
ISBN:   9781776571918
ISBN 10:   1776571916
Pages:   72
Publication Date:   01 April 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for The Old Man

Everyone is waking up to start the day. The children get ready for school. The old man must wake up, too. He's sleeping rough on the streets and must leave before he's shooed away. Sparse text and quickly stroked illustrations allow readers to drift through with a sense of bewilderment similar to the one surrounding the old man at the center of the story. He is unseen by everyone unless they move him along from wherever he's resting. A combination of embarrassment and trepidation keeps him away from crowds of people. When he goes to the shelter for food, being asked his name--'He doesn't remember'--causes him to override his hunger to escape an awkward situation. 'Easier to leave.' He drifts through the city, looking for a place to warm up, something to eat, until finally, at the end of the book, a little girl offers him her sandwich. She giggles, saying he looks like a teddy bear. This kindness, this acknowledgement by another human being, fills him with enough warmth that he returns to the shelter, and when asked his name, he says, 'Teddy.' The softness of the pencil used to illustrate the story fits perfectly the tenderness of the little girl and of the old man himself, who responds to her kindness with unadulterated gratitude and happiness. The gorgeous sepia-and-gray tones of the illustrations reinforce the mood; all the characters seem to have pale skin. This is an extraordinary book, one that can make the needed connection for young children to see human beings as more than their circumstances.--starred, Kirkus Reviews -- Journal


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