Barbara's Reviews > Garmann's Summer

Garmann's Summer by Stian Hole
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Mar 07, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: picture-books, picture-books-for-older-readers, international-fiction

I just reread this picture book again, and again I am struck by the way the author is able to delve into the mind of a child. Garmann is thinking about what's going on around him and using what he sees and hears to understand his world. None of the adults treat him as a silly boy. They talk seriously with him and answer his questions As they share their fears, they help him see that uncertainty and fear are a part of life that we accept and that life is a complex mix of pleasure and sadness. At the end of the book, he is still scared of the beginning of the new school year, but he's checked his schoolbag and put everything in order for the next day. He's ready to move on, fear and all.

Though Garmann is going into first grade, this strikes me as a picture book for older readers. If I were still teaching, I'd use this at the end of the year with my sixth graders who were always in a state of panic, hotly denied, about moving into the world of the upper school. They would have had some interesting observations about the post-modern, rather surrealistic, art as well as a thoughtful discussion of the text.
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