Robot Girlis an Afrofuturistic version ofBernard Beckett's Genesis for children, populated with a black cast of characters. Genesis is one of my allRobot Girl is an Afrofuturistic version of Bernard Beckett's Genesis for children, populated with a black cast of characters. Genesis is one of my all-time favourite books. It inverts expectations and examines what it means to be human and the value of emotions.
The cover is what drew me in. It's rare to see black characters in sci-fi novels. Knowing it was written by Malorie Blackman was the cherry on top.
*Robot Girl is a dyslexia friendly book first published in Sensational Cyber Stories (1997)....more
Oliver's illustrations are lovely, except for the ginger-haired child with what I can only describe as a pink phallic object on his forehead whichappe
Oliver's illustrations are lovely, except for the ginger-haired child with what I can only describe as a pink phallic object on his forehead which appears in every depiction of him. What the hell is it? Perhaps I should just say what we're all thinking - dickhead. It's a perfect representation, no? Did the editor not notice this . . . appendage before printing? I mean, it's kind of obvious. Is it some sort of unique Australian thing of which I'm unaware?
As for the story, The Great Paper Caper introduces the idea of crime to children using animals. We investigate the theft of trees, arrest the culprit and give him a fair trial. We empathize with the bear 'criminal' and his situation; a desire to follow the family tradition to win the paper plane competition as the generations before him did. Restitution is then demanded which was happily given by planting new trees to replace the ones stolen, and all is forgiven.
I feel like I should like this picture book more. Sadly, upon finishing I was just left cold. I'm not sure why....more
Flotsam, my first wordless picture book, feels age inappropriate. From what I gather picture books are generally aimed at 3 to 8-year-olds. I have douFlotsam, my first wordless picture book, feels age inappropriate. From what I gather picture books are generally aimed at 3 to 8-year-olds. I have doubts a child in that range would be able to fully comprehend the story without help from an elder. Does a 6-year-old know what a microscope is and what it's used for? Will they understand the images shown at different magnifications? A few Goodreads reviews say that it doesn't matter if a child understands or not, they might make up their own story.
A boy at the beach is studying the flotsam to wash up on shore where he stumbles on a camera. He develops the film to find photos of children dating back decades. It seems they each found the camera the same way and took photos of themselves holding the photo of the child who possessed the camera before them and then threw the camera back into the sea.
I struggled to comprehend the significance of the random sci-fi/fantasy artwork had to do with the story, which were actually what I liked most. They appeared more modern in style and vibrancy. A steampunk clockwork fish. Villages made of seashells on the backs of turtles. Little green men landing their spaceships underwater. Islands which are actually starfish who hop up on their legs and walk elsewhere. Mermaids.
After reading a few Goodreads reviews, I'm still not entirely sure of their relevance. I'm guessing these scenes were depicting what the boy imagined marine life was like, what he thought he might see in the developed film from the underwater camera. This is also another thing which dates the book. No one develops camera film now, not in the first world. I can't think of a single retailer which does, so continuing on that tradition would be difficult.
The camera concept feels very familiar to me. I'm sure I've seen this but with a camera phone. The discoverer took pictures of themselves and then left the phone to be discovered by someone else. The phone travelled all over the world. I just can't remember where I saw this, whether it was a news item or part of a TV show.
While there are multiethnic characters, the majority of the illustrations starring people seemed rather dated, ones I wouldn't be surprised to see in a book from the 1970s, so much so that I had to check the publication date - 2006. Huh.
Overall, I didn't enjoy this one despite its uniqueness in incorporating science and the thrill of discovery. It's not something I'd recommend....more
An erudite,self-aware feminist memoir, in graphic novel form, examining a lesbian's childhood relationship with her parents - especially her closetedAn erudite, self-aware feminist memoir, in graphic novel form, examining a lesbian's childhood relationship with her parents - especially her closeted gay father. Fun Home is chock full of psychoanalysis, literary criticism and commentary on gender, sexuality and suicide. You may recognise the author's name from her Bechdel Test, which 'asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man' to indicate gender bias (Wikipedia).
I grew to resent the way my father treated his furniture like children, and his children like furniture.
Bruce taught high school English while also being a part-time funeral director. Renovating old houses, including his own, was his obsessive hobby. Affairs with men and sex with his students got him into trouble. Criminal charges were pressed when he gave an underage boy beer, code for the real accusation of homosexuality.
He KILLED HIMSELF because he was a manic depressive, closeted FAG and he couldn't face living in this small-minded small town one more SECOND.
...and when we'd go to New York, he'd go out alone at night. Once he got body lice! But it's not just the... the... affairs. It's the shoplifting, the speed tickets, the lying, his rages.
A couple of weeks before Bruce's death, Alison's mother told Bruce she was divorcing him. If he hadn't (maybe) killed himself by walking out in front of a truck, Bechdel ponders whether she would've lost him to AIDS a few years later.
I measured my father against the grimy deer hunters at the gas station uptown, with their yellow workboots and shorn-sheep haircuts. And where he fell short, I stepped in . . . Not only were we inverts. We were inversions of one another.
Bechdel suggests she compensated for her father's stereotypical feminine qualities--for example, trying to force her to like and wear girly things, and his fondness for the tiniest details of decorating and gardening and flowers--by becoming more butch, masculine.
While Alison always wanted to be a boy, she loved dressing in boys' clothes, Bruce confessed he'd wanted to be a girl. Interfered with as a child, his battle with gender and sexual identity issues and his manic depressive nature surely made for an exceptionally frustrated man.
Perhaps my eagerness to claim him as "gay" in the way I am "gay," as opposed to bisexual or some other category, is just a way of keeping him to myself--a sort of inverted Oedipal Complex.
Although Bechdel seemed to resent her father in childhood, she ultimately felt closer to him after learning of their shared homosexuality. Her relationship with her mother, on the other hand, felt mildly distant and awkward especially in her younger years when a 13-year-old Alison struggled to tell her mother she'd started her period. But those years were fraught with anxieties as OCD gradually monopolized Alison's childhood.
Fun Home is emotionally intelligent despite Bechdel's self-confessed difficulty with expressing her feelings. Although it reads like she swallowed an Oxford dictionary, an Oxford Companion to English Literature and several psychology textbooks, it's intimidating nature in its depth and astuteness is still accessible to those who haven't read the relevant books.
Bechdel's autobiographical journey is told through books and their relevance to her and her family. Most references are made to classic literature and their authors, some of which I haven't read. Albert Camus. Ernest Hemingway. F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. The Taming of the Shrew. Venus in Furs. James and the Giant Peach. Wallace Stevens. Marcel Proust. Morning's At Seven. Wind in the Willows. The Importance of Being Earnest and Oscar Wilde. Catcher in the Rye. James Joyce. The Odyssey. Earthly Paradise by Colette. Virgina Woolf. Flying by Kate Millett. The myth of Icarus and his father. And many, many more.
I've got to say I'm curious as to what Bechdel thought of her Philosophy of Art class, whether she found it as confounding as I did.
'A graphic narrative of uncommon richness, depth, literary resonance and psychological complexity.'Kirkus Reviews
Fun Home is the perfect book for studying. It's themes of feminism, lesbianism, psychoanalysis and literary discussion are all written with self-deprecating black humour and irony, making for a compelling read.