Illustrated by Craig Orback
Lee & Low Books, 2010
$18.95 (they keep going up!)
Endpapers: clay-colored wash over linen/board
Mr. Peters used to live in the same apartment building as Tim, but with the loss of his job and income he is now homeless. He spends his days digging through trash cans to find empty soda cans he can redeem for a nickel apiece. He's now called "the Can Man" by everyone.
Tim badly wants a skateboard, but even with his birthday coming, his parents can't afford one. After watching the Can Man, he decides he'll earn money for a skateboard in the same way.
I wonder if young readers will figure out that what Tim's doing is unfair to the Can Man. I was getting more and more bothered - as I know I was supposed to. Mr. Peters is a lovely man who even helps Tim transport his bags of cans to the redemption center.
Well, of course Time comes through - he ends up giving all his can earnings to the Can Man, who badly needs a winter jacket as the cold season approaches. And (final SPOILER) on his birthday, Tim finds a used but newly painted skateboard on his front step.
Most of the illustrations cover 3/4 of the 2-page spread, edge to edge, with a vertical edge of white where the words are printed.
A great book to talk about!
11 hours ago