Brittany Young's Reviews > The Stranger

The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg
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's review
Sep 18, 11

The stranger was a very interesting book to me. It had a nice air of mystery to it. The cover seemed so interesting, but also so simple. There was nothing on the darkly colored back cover, and a thick boarder the same color as the back cover around the image on the front cover. The illustration on the cover was interesting, it looks almost clay like, and the man on the front looks clearly surprised or confused. The illustrations inside the book are very picturesque. It is as if each picture could be taken out and placed in a frame, which I thinks adds to the overall beauty of the page. The images are bordered by thick white space. And the text is bordered by a thin black line, separating the text from the pictures nicely. The colors used are very natural tones; browns, dark greens, very autumn-like colors. The pictures are always on the left while the images are always on the right. I think this set structure could help a young reader understand the story and focus on the plot unfolding, because they are not distracted or surprised by a different style on each page. I thought it was weird that the picture book started with a man getting hit by a car. That seems to be an interesting exposition for a children’s book. The story seemed very sporadic to me. There was quite a bit of random events that had no significance; the doctor leaving his thermometer at the house, the stranger not sweating when he works hard. Some pages just seemed to be out of place. I liked the surprise ending. I did not expect the stranger to be the one making the trees change. I liked that Van Allsburg had the story continue by describing that the same thing happens every fall since the stranger left. I would recommend this for primary aged student’s, I think it would keep them entertained while the teacher reads it out loud. I could find no real moral, so I am not convinced it could be used as a teaching tool as far as a moral goes, but it could be used to inspire student’s imagination.
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