The Lonely Typewriter.
The Lonely Typewriter
Peter Ackerman, author
Max Dalton, illustrator
David R. Godine, publisher
P. O. Box 450, Jeffrey, New Hampshire 03452
9781567925180, $16.95, www.godine.com
Beginning with a carefully labeled illustration of a typical manual typewriter, "The Lonely Typewriter" tells the story of an outdated but beloved instrument for composition, a typewriter. The lonely typewriter was once new, happy to be purchased by an African American lady named Pearl to type pamphlets for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Used by Pearl and her daughter Penelope to type important letters and papers, the typewriter was eventually replaced by a superior computer and was retired to the family attic, to be re-discovered years later by Penelope's son Pablo, who needed to finish writing a report on penguins. Pablo's father, a former poker player named Paxton, had allowed Pablo to begin his report by researching penguins on his office computer, until the cursor and mouse froze and would not work. So Pablo was encouraged to finish writing his penguin paper on the lonely typewriter, taken down from the attic and dusted for action. Pablo loved learning all about how to use the little manual typewriter, so different in all its details from a computer. And the lonely little typewriter was happy once again. Created by a famous and successful author/illustrator pair, "The Lonely Little Typewriter" tells a nostalgic tale of the manual typewriter, humble ancestor of the computer. The narrative is witty, alert, and memorable, filled with playful alliterations featuring words and names beginning with "P." The appealing illustrations feature use of contrasting bright colors against dark brown back grounds, telling more of the background story of Pablo's family, including a joyous interracial marriage between his parents, Paxton and Penelope, a part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Story implied in the beginning of "The Lonely Typewriter." Creating stories within stories that teach good things on all levels, "The Lonely Typewriter" is a wonderful way for today's children to explore their family histories and social and technological progressions.