Reviews - What do customers think about Sebastian's Roller Skates?
"...You Got A Brand New Key" Jul 23, 2007
Sebasstian is a "tweener." He's way past elementary school age (especially in his own mind), but not yet a real teen either. People don;t know what to make of him, and he doesn't always know what to make of himself. Saying what he really feel doesn't come easy: The neighbors tell him how tall he's become, "and Sebastian would look at the floor, nod his head, and blush. (Really, what is one SUPPOSED to say to such self-evident remarks?) THe barber asks him if he likes his haircut. Sebastain whispers, "fine," but he really think his head looks like a bolwing ball, and that the barber better not to THAT again. At school, Sebastian knows the capitals of Burundi, Iceland, and Mongolia, but he doesn't answer the teacher's questions. Perhaps Sebastian's disconnect between thought and expression concerns his feelings for Ester--curly-haired, honey-eyed. He'd never even spoken to her.
One day, while walking home through the park, Sebastian finds some abandoned roller skates. He tries, he immediately falls, and he concludes, "Skating is not for me." However,the next day can stand on them before falling. At this point, author Joan de Deu Prats could have gone onward and upward, tracing Sebastian's slow but sure development into a sure-footed skater. Fortunately, she's more talented than that: Yes, Sebastian slowly improves, but when he sees skaters better than him, he's stops and goes home.
They say that necessity is one Mother of Invention (Frank Zappa is another), but here it's a runaway dog who inspires Sebastian. Grabbing the running dog's leash, he's in the zone, bounding across a bridge and jumping a ditch, Before he realizes it, Sebastian has "skated through the whole park!" Without even trying, almost Zen-like, Sebastian has mastered something without trying to master it. Sebastian's formerly grey mood bursts into a collage, they fill the lobby of his apartment complex, and pour out of his mouth as he speaks. Even though he's still a tweener, smaller--smaller than grown-ups, maybe not even noticed by him, Sebastian's confidence and perseverence have grown immeasurably.
Things come full circle at the conclusion: He TELLS the barber that he "doesn't want his head to look like a billiard ball," he answers tough geography questions, and, in his most important step, he asks Ester to go skating with him. Their eyes meet, she shyly agrees, and the page spills with orange, red, and purple hearts, light and free. 'SEbastian' tackles a difficult age with skill and aplomb. Not only does De Deu Prats understand the tweener psyche, but she respects it without over-dramatizing. Of course, skating doesn't melt all tweener anxiety--no one thing could--but Sebastian's path implies that it's possible. SHe seems to suggest that adults shouldn't judge kids by their "cover,"--there's much more going on--and that adolescents shouldn't label themselves either...a change is gonna come. The drawings are open, colorful, and match the emotional content: Rovira superbly depicts thoughts and settings--the inside and the outside. This superb book will appeal to kids both younger and older than the pre-teen Sebastian.
Adorable! Mar 26, 2006
I have a shy little guy. An adorable story!!!! I thought it might be a little long for a 3 year old, but he sat through it and enjoyed it. Still, probably the right length for children ages 5 and up.
A bright and hopeful book. Jan 18, 2006
Young Sebastian is so shy that he barely speaks aloud, even though he has a lot to say. When he finds a pair of roller skates on a park bench, he practices with them for days. As his skating slowly improves, he also finds confidence to share his knowledge and feelings. The illustrations capture Sebastian's joy as his face and world brighten. Part of the book's charm is that change doesn't come immediately for Sebastian. He builds on small successes, and can hardly believe the wonderful changes in himself.
An entertaining story about growth and self-discovery through applying oneself to a new talent Oct 4, 2005
Sebastian's Roller Skates is an award-winning picturebook by Joan de Deu Prats about a very shy young boy who has a lot to say but can't bring himself to talk much. One day he finds a pair of old roller skates in the park - and as he tries them on and practices, he learns not only how to skate, but also much more! The whimsical color illustrations by Francese Rovira are the perfect complement to the entertaining story about growth and self-discovery through applying oneself to a new talent. Highly recommended.