Voices in the Park is one of the most interesting picture books I have read in a while. The story is told by 4 different characters and shows 4 diff Voices in the Park is one of the most interesting picture books I have read in a while. The story is told by 4 different characters and shows 4 different versions of the same story. The characters in this story are Charles' mother (First voice), Smudges father (Second Voice), Charles (Third Voice), and Smudge (Fourth Voice) but also include two dogs, Victoria and Albert.
The images as well as the text drive this story and make the reader really pay attention to the story. The cover of the book shows two kids standing in the middle of the frame staring at each other under the cover of trees and two dogs are in the middle of the frame but off the the right hand side also staring at each other. You don't know who these children are or how they know each other, but you can tell that they are friends. The title page only has the title and a read hat. The letters in the word Voices (on both the cover and title page) are formed by different fonts which we find out when we read the book are the different fonts given to each of the characters.
Although the story is the same or each voice, there is a different point of view given. The adults are concerned in the story about each other and the very blatant difference between their two worlds. First voice is more concerned about everything else and about the "frightful types" in the park while Second voice doesn't really notice the woman, but is trying to better his situation. The adults seem to be less aware of their children and more aware about themselves. The children on the other hand enjoy being with each other and do not realize that they are different at all. The only things that the children notice are that one is a girl and one doesn't talk a lot and seems like a wimp. They can enjoy each others company and are able to look past what makes them different.
I found that the images in this book are more interesting that the story. For every voice the images are different and give a glimpse into the way that they see the world. In the fourth opening on the book on the full bleed image, we see Charles (barely) and his mother leaving the park. In the background there is a tree on fire. This is the only illustration that shows such an image, so I researched and found and answer from and interview with Anthony Browne. He said that the tree is burring because Charles' mother is so angry at Charles and Victoria the dog for playing with Smudge and Albert that she is "burning with anger".
The illustrations that I found the most interesting were from the point of view of the children. Charles' illustrations begin very dull and in different flat colors. He is often shown in his mother's shadow and doesn't smile for his first two or three pages. Once he meets and begins to play with Smudge his world brightens and he is happier. Once it is his time to leave his world once again become dull and gray. Although he is "rich" he is unhappy and doesn't see any joy in the world around him. Smudge however in one of the only voices who's world is bright and happy during her whole telling of the point of view. She sees the world in bright and vibrant colors. You can tell by her illustrations that she is the happiest character in the entire book.
Visually this book is amazing and I really enjoyed reading it. I feel that it shows that no matter where you come from you choose to be happy and see the world in a way that you choose to see it....more
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson is an absolutely stunning book. It tells the story of many generations of African-American woman from slavery to free Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson is an absolutely stunning book. It tells the story of many generations of African-American woman from slavery to freedom to the civil right movement to present day. It begins with Soonie's great grandmother being taken away from her family when she is 7 to go to another planation. All she is given is a piece of muslin and some thread. She learns to sew from Big Mama who teahes her to quilt show ways. A show way is a quilt that helps slaves find their way to freedom. The book continues with each generation making these Show Ways even though many of them grow up in a time where slavery is not longer an issue. The book ends with the author telling her daughter the story and teaching her how to make a show way.
I found this book to be both moving an beautiful. Hudson Talbott uses a combination of chalk, muslin, and watercolors to create the beautiful images that are in this book. They flow so wonderfully with the words of the story that you almost have to pay just as much attention to the pictures as you do the words. For example, on the 9th opening of the book, Woodson talks about how Mathis May's husband gets shoot and killed for trying to run to freedom. The picture show the eat coast of the United states with a big red slash through it. In the red slash you see a man with a gun and two dogs chasing a man. The man that they are chasing looks like he just got shot.
The cut out cover was also very striking. You can see quilted images all around a diamond shape cut out but the cut out is in a bright and vibrant with a little African-American girl holding a candle in an orange background. The contrast of the vibrant on dark is very striking and really pulls you in.
Overall I enjoyed this book a great deal. The only problem that I found with it was that it was very long and took a very long time to read. Other than that, I found that it was a very moving and interesting book....more
This book is absolutely hilarious! I don't think that there is anything about this book i didn't like. The illustrations are very interesting and theThis book is absolutely hilarious! I don't think that there is anything about this book i didn't like. The illustrations are very interesting and the story is very funny. It begins as any other fairy tale, a princess is being held in a tower by her evil stepfather waiting for someone to come and save her. On the third opening of the book is when this "ordinary fairy tale" takes a unexpected turn. We see a man on a scaffold painting the illustartion. His name is Ned and he is the one responsible for the pictures that we are seeing. A balding man in the corner is telling us that we are reading to fast and that is causing Ned to fall behind on his illustrating duties.
Every page turn gives the reader an even more ridiculous picture than the last. Ned is trying so hard to finish the pictures but because the reader is "such a good reader" Ned has to rush to the next page without finishing the image before it. Ned looks more and more rushed on every page and you feel bad for going so quickly.
I was laughing out loud during most of this book. The images, the fairy tale story, and the pleas to slow down were hilarious. I don't think that this book has many underlying themes or deeper meaning. In my opinion it is a fun story with great pictures.
I read this book several times and enjoyed it every single time. I would read this story to my students in a heartbeat. I think that they would find it just as funny as I did and they would really appreciate the funny illustrations....more
I absolutely LOVE The Crayon Box that Talked ! This book has a beautiful and complex message told i"We are a box of crayons that doesn't get along."
I absolutely LOVE The Crayon Box that Talked ! This book has a beautiful and complex message told in a very simple way. The poem starts with a little girl going into a toy store and finding a crayon box where none of the colors get along. The little girls buys the box of crayons and takes them to her house where she begins to draw a picture. The colors begin to see that even though they are all special in their own ways that when they come together they make something beautiful. The last line of the poem is one of my favorite parts of th whole poem. "We are a box of crayons, each one of us unique. But when we come together... the picture is complete."
I love to read this book to my students when were are having issues with making fun of others and being mean to each other. I like to explain to the students that in our classroom when are the box of crayons. When we make fun of eah other and are mean to each other we are the crayon box that doesn't get along. I tell them that we want to be like t he crayon box at the end of the poem and get along with each other even though we are all different. After reading this book by students are often nicer and more understanding of each other.
The drawings and bright colors of the book really draw the kids in and they enjoy the story a lot. I feel that the child like picture make the message easier to understand for them. I recommend this story to anyone who has young children who are having a hard time getting along and anyone who teaches grades Kindergarten to 2nd grade....more