Published in Reading Time November 2012
Every adult and every school kid knows what it’s like to feel lonely in a crowd.
Herman and Rosie were amateur jazz musicians living parallel lives in New York City. They loved the city, but it was often a lonely place. Although Rosie lived in the building next door to Herman’s, she didn’t know where the sounds of the groovy jazz oboe were coming from, and Herman didn’t know whose singing it was that made him feel so wonderful. The tension in the story builds as we watch Herman and Rosie pass each other again and again and finally end up in the same place ... and walk off in opposite directions. When Rosie hears the familiar music coming through the window once more, she leaps off the balcony, scales a wall and springs to the roof, where she and Herman find each other.
Gus Gordon’s mixed media illustrations are amazing. They incorporate maps, newspaper, postcards and photos of instruments and give the impression of a loud, bustling city. Even though I’ve never been to New York, I now feel as though I have. The flowing text and illustrations work together beautifully to tell the story.
This book has depth and romance, but by using animal characters, Gus Gordon has avoided an ‘adult’ feeling and created a book about friendship perfect for both adults and children (6+). Reading this book will make you feel (like Herman) that you have eaten honey straight from the jar.