Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Book Review Tuesday: How Roland Rolls by Jim Carrey

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Some Kind of Garden Media; First Edition edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989368009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989368001

HOW ROLAND ROLLS, winner of a 2013 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award, is a story about a wave named Roland who's afraid that, one day, when he hits the beach, his life will be over. But when he gets deep, he's struck by the notion that he's not just a wave - he's the whole big, wide ocean! The story shows humanity's interconnectedness through the metaphor of a wave in the ocean.

In HOW ROLAND ROLLS, Carrey brings his wit and wisdom to the story of a wave named Roland who’s afraid that, one day, when he hits the beach, his life will be over. But when he gets deep, he’s struck by the notion that he’s not just a wave — he’s the whole big, wide ocean!

The book is lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist/animator Rob Nason, and is a pure delight for children (and their grown-ups!). Cover is attached, and you can visit our website at www.HowRolandRolls.com

I was sent this book and I'm glad they did. I am touched to see Jim didn't go the traditional route in getting his book in print. Instead he went the indie route. Kudos Jim! He also enlisted a very talented illustrator to help him make this book not only wonderful, but Jim Carrrey dazzling wonderful as Jim himself posed for many of the Roland faces you see throughout the story, not to mention his own image from time to time can be spotted.

The story is written in rhyme and well done. Of course this actor/comedian does understand the importance of free flow and rhyme I am sure. But what really caught me was how the story unfolded or should I say rolled along in perfect harmony with the illustrations and Roland's own adventure. Every aspect was in tune with each other, every detail blending and intertwining as it should, making this one of the best indie picture books I've seen in a long time.

The story itself has many levels for all ages. Children will enjoy the fun aspects of the story and understand Roland's loss when he can't find his friends and later when he learns waves come to their end on the shoreline of the beach. Readers will have a better understanding about how we all interact with each other and touch each others lives in all we do and say. Children will come to the understanding and the importance of friends, making new friends, the world around us and how important each of us are in this great, yet small world we live in. Finally, readers will have a deep knowledge that even those we love may seem to be gone in our lives, they are truly with us each and everyday. They live within us and around us all the time.

The hidden messages throughout the story and main theme are wonderfully done and Jim Carrey really brought a deep profound thought about life and death in this amazing picture book.

What My Kids Thought:
My two girls (ages 9 and 4) sat down to read How Roland Rolls not once but several times. This is their favorite bedtime story thus far. My youngest loves illustrations and all of Roland's faces. She really got a kick out of the pictures of Jim Carrey at the back of the book showing him making the Roland faces for illustration. Jim also invites kids to share their Roland face and even though I haven't sent my youngest's picture in, here it is for your enjoyment.

My older daughter loved how simple and caring Jim's message about loss was shared with her as a reader. She picked up on the main theme right away and it opened a nice dialogue between us as her grandparents are getting older and she fears one of her grandfathers may not be around when she is much older.

My 9 year old really held onto the message about how we all make a difference in the world around us, no matter if it is small or big. It has inspired her to follow in my foot steps, and Jim Carrey's,  in writing stories about things she finds important to share. We are working on four picture books together right now, my daughter and I. I find this time so special and also she is happy to know she will be leaving her own mark on the world once she is gone for her family and friends to remember her.

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