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The Doorman's Repose
Cover of The Doorman's Repose
The Doorman's Repose
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From Caldecott Award winner Chris Raschka, tales of unforgettable characters who live in a NYC apartment building
"To the company of ur-New Yorkers like Stuart Little, Harriet the Spy, and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, let me hold open the door for The Doorman's Repose. A new favorite." —Gregory Maguire
"....marvelously intriguing stories..." —Lemony Snicket
Some of us look up at those craggy, mysterious apartment buildings found in the posher parts of New York City and wonder what goes on inside. The Doorman's Repose collects ten stories about 777 Garden Avenue, one of the craggiest. The first story recounts the travails of the new doorman, who excels at all his tasks except perhaps the most important one—talking baseball. Others tell of a long-forgotten room, a cupid-like elevator, and the unlikely romance of a cerebral psychologist and a jazz musician, both of whom are mice. Because the animals talk and the machinery has feelings, these are children's stories. Otherwise they are for anyone intrigued by what happens when many people, strangers or kin, live together under one roof.
From Caldecott Award winner Chris Raschka, tales of unforgettable characters who live in a NYC apartment building
"To the company of ur-New Yorkers like Stuart Little, Harriet the Spy, and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, let me hold open the door for The Doorman's Repose. A new favorite." —Gregory Maguire
"....marvelously intriguing stories..." —Lemony Snicket
Some of us look up at those craggy, mysterious apartment buildings found in the posher parts of New York City and wonder what goes on inside. The Doorman's Repose collects ten stories about 777 Garden Avenue, one of the craggiest. The first story recounts the travails of the new doorman, who excels at all his tasks except perhaps the most important one—talking baseball. Others tell of a long-forgotten room, a cupid-like elevator, and the unlikely romance of a cerebral psychologist and a jazz musician, both of whom are mice. Because the animals talk and the machinery has feelings, these are children's stories. Otherwise they are for anyone intrigued by what happens when many people, strangers or kin, live together under one roof.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    930
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 6

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Chris Raschka has made more than sixty books for children, including Yo! Yes?, Five for a Little One, A Ball for Daisy, and, with Vladimir Radunsky, Alphabetabum, which is published by The New York Review Children's Collection. His work has earned one Caldecott Honor and two Caldecott Medals, as well as the Ezra Jack Keats Award, and his books have been selected five times for The New York Times Best Illustrated Books list. He lives in New York City.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 22, 2017
    Eccentricities run rampant in two-time Caldecott Medalist Raschka’s poignant, charming, and very funny fiction debut, which introduces the residents (both human and mouse) of 777 Garden Avenue, a “neo-proto-Aztec-Egyptian-Gothic” apartment building on New York City’s Upper East Side. The 10 stories, written in first-person plural and introduced by Raschka’s customary fauvist artwork, stand alone yet, together, create a vibrant patchwork portrait of an interconnected community. Mr. Bunchley would be the perfect doorman, if only he could talk baseball with the residents (“I like to see a screwball, Bunchley,” says one resident. “I like comedies, too,” he replies). The building’s opera singer loses her voicejust before a legally mandated city inspection (“As everyone in New York City knows, each building must have at least one working opera singer”). And two mice, inspired by human residents, pursue careers in psychiatry and jazz. With echoes of The Westing Game (minus the mystery) and the Wayside School books (minus the focus on children), Raschka’s novel walks a fine line between contemporary and classic while conjuring a vision of New York that’s both familiar and fantastical. Ideal for adventurous readers and family readalouds. Ages 10–up.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 1, 2017
    A grand old apartment building at 777 Garden Ave. on Manhattan's Upper East Side is the setting for a series of tales filled with humor, imagination, and sweetness.Raschka creates a plethora of wonderfully eccentric characters, human and otherwise. There is nothing linear about the book's format; stories roam all over the building and back and forth through many years with quirky, interconnected characters in starring roles. Mr. Bunchley, the doorman, knows everyone's name and beautifies the lobby with amazing plants. Mrs. MacDougal files complaints about anyone who fails to adhere to her sense of decorum. Fred attempts to keep gravity at the proper level, controlling it with bread mash, pigeons, and, perhaps, a small earthquake. Theo's kindness and curiosity lead to the discovery of a long-lost, secret room. Victoria follows Oskar on his plumbing rounds. Rodents Pee Wee and Anna are, respectively, a jazz musician and a psychoanalyst. Mr. Norton and Mr. Jones are longtime companions with a unique method of addressing insomnia. Otis the elevator and Liesl the boiler play purposeful roles in the lives of the building's inhabitants. Raschka mixes truth with plausible but deliberately misleading information, keeping readers on their toes. Ethnicity and race are never mentioned, but Raschka's bold-lined, off-kilter, detailed illustrations depict Victoria with dark skin and others with light tones. A warm, wonderful delight for readers young and old. (Fiction. 9-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2017
    Gr 4-7-A celebrated picture book author/illustrator turns his considerable creativity to a longer form. Eleven related stories all take place in a New York City apartment building. Leisurely, playful narration from an unnamed resident of the building immerses readers in a world that's imaginative, quirky, and often surprising. The narrator clearly loves the building and most of its inhabitants, which comes through in the telling. Human characters include the doorman and several interesting residents, young and old. A girl helps the super repair a depressed boiler in one story; another involves the inspection of the building's designated opera singer. Two stories feature mice, whose occupations include a boxer, a psychiatrist, and a jazz musician. There's even a sentient elevator named Otis; he is also a matchmaker. Readers gradually learn a bit more about the building and its history with each story. Themes of kindness and human (and animal) connectedness run through most of the tales, and these are summarized triumphantly by the doorman himself in the final chapter. Full-page black-and-white drawings provide pleasing introductions to each chapter, with more illustrations appearing throughout the book. VERDICT Plots about pigeon tenders, insomniac men, and old-fashioned elevators are not likely to grab the attention of young kids on their own, but this will make a good match for the right readers and also serve as an excellent recommendation for adults reading aloud to children.-Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Lemony Snicket "As we all know, it is very difficult to break into an apartment building and investigate the activities of its inhabitants. Luckily, Chris Raschka has managed to do this for us, so we may enjoy these marvelously intriguing stories without going to prison."
  • Booklist "[A] humorous, thought-provoking collection of stories...Imagination is built into every detail...The sophisticated writing style makes this book most appropriate for a middle-grade audience, though older readers will also appreciate 777 Garden Avenue's intricacies. Ultimately, this curious character study reveals how everyone is connected, whether by fleeting interaction or grand gesture."
  • School Library Connection "[Raschka's] rich vocabulary creates characters that are believable, while also taking ordinary events and making them sound magical...This is a delightful read and the stories will be remembered by the reader for a long time. Teachers, students, and school librarians will definitely want to add this to their collections."
  • Tor Seidler "It doesn't seem quite fair that Chris Raschka, so adept at telling stories pictorially, should be equally brilliant at telling them with words, but he is. What is it really like to live in the greatest city in the world? Read this tribute to the human and animal tenants of a quirky old apartment building in uptown Manhattan and you'll know. The Doorman's Repose is funny and moving and what those of us who write for young readers all secretly aspire to and almost never pull off: a book that will be devoured and cherished by kids and parents alike."
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