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The Couch Was a Castle [Paperback]

Ruth Ohi
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 12 2006 A Ruth Ohi Picture Book

Two brothers discover that with a little pretending, a couch can be anything.

For Burt and his little brother, spending time on the couch is anything but boring. After all, with a bit of imagination, a couch can go through some remarkable transformations. And so the boys ride the couch like a horse and envision a cowboy pursuit. Later the sofa doubles as a pirate ship battling stormy seas. But when some stage-couch theatrics end in tears, it's up to Burt to rescue his little brother's feelings... and restore the fun.

Ruth Ohi draws on her cast of guinea pig characters, introduced in Clara and the Bossy, to tell an innovative tale for younger children. Ohi's rhyming text makes for read-aloud fun, while her gentle illustrations cleverly show first the reality and then the boys' imagined worlds. A pitch-perfect mix of playtime fun with a hint of sibling bickering makes The Couch Was a Castle as honest as it is imaginative.


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Review

The simple, rhyming text is brought to life by Ruth Ohi's charming watercolour illustrations. A small picture shows the comfy couch and the brothers play acting (sometimes with colanders on their heads for pith helmets)... The narrative also unfolds through the illustrations. When a dueling sword fight turns a bit rough, little Twitch leaves in tears. Not having any fun alone, Burt reconciles their differences and the couch returns to being "a couch for just me and you." This sweet and playful story is good for one-on-one sharing. Children will enjoy dreaming up imaginary adventures of their own. The simple, rhyming text is brought to life by Ruth Ohi's charming watercolour illustrations. A small picture shows the comfy couch and the brothers play acting (sometimes with colanders on their heads for pith helmets). The facing full page shows the detailed make-believe adventure. The narrative also unfolds through the illustrations. When a dueling sword fight turns a bit rough, little Twitch leaves in tears. Not having any fun alone, Burt reconciles their differences and the couch returns to being "a couch for just me and you." This sweet and playful story is good for one-on-one sharing. Children will enjoy dreaming up imaginary adventures of their own. (Linda Ludke PaperTigers.org 2006-10-00)

About the Author

Ruth Ohi is the illustrator of more than 40 books for children. This is her fifth book as an author. Her delightful illustrations are familiar to families all over North America. She lives in Toronto.


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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Favourite Sept. 21 2009
Format:Library Binding
Even though I have a no "repeat readings" rule (that is, I will generally not re-read the same book to my kids after I have just read it), our paperback version of this one was so well-loved it fell apart from excessive interest. My daughters would often specifically search out this one from their vast library of used books and browse through on their own. The drawings are imaginative while the text is accessible and easy to remember. I think they really like the message too - imagination is best when shared!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Lackluster May 16 2009
Format:Library Binding
I purchased this book with a collection of books for preschoolers and have yet to reread it to my son. It is fine, but doesn't capture the imagination (ironic since it's about imagination) enough to garner a repeat read. Maybe a good library book, but not worth purchasing.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagination and creative play April 10 2012
By Bettyruth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book depicting two brothers of different ages participating in delightfully creative play with each other and their own imaginations.
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