Saturday, 18 April 2009

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: Picture Books

Tired eyes led me to picture books, the first one woke me up, the second had a depressing ending that was very unexpected.

Mrs Biddlebox: Her Bad Day and What She Did About It by Linda Smith and Marla Frazee.

For younger kids this picture box does exactly what we'd all like to do when we wake up to a bad day - she cooks up the day and eats it, leaving herself with a peaceful nights sleep. Gorgeous pics, heres when she takes down the sun to put it in her cookig pot:

The Viewer by Shaun Tan and Gary Crew

I've recently had out a few books by Shaun Tan from the library with stunning illustrations, this is the first book with his pictures in that I have brought for myself and I'm not as take with this as the other two - the pictures are darker to fit the story.
Tristan is a child who likes to observe the world, to figure out how things work. His favourite place is the dump where he finds and fixes old things. Till one day he finds an old box with its lid firmly shut. When he gets it home he figures it is a viewer, you look inside and click the disc and it shows you a series of images.
All well and good so far, now this is where I started to become unsure. The first look shows Tristan the beginning of the world, evolution etc. Then we start moving on to colonialism, the destruction of the habitat of Native Indians, Slavery, civil wars, then the holocaust, WW1 and II and finally the present day - starving Africa children, drought, nuclear bombs.

Tristan, and thus the youg readers, are shown the history of the world. I have no issue with children knowing the bad things in this world, in fact I believe that they should know and be talked to about the destruction and pain that humans cause (something that gets discussed in my classroom a lot), BUT this book only showed the bad things. Never once did it show the good that people do. I didn't inspire, it simply depressed showing only the negative side of humans and the world we have created.

Thats my reading for tonight, I'm going to have a quick flick through my googlereader then I'm off to sleep for the next 4 and a half hours. Happy reading x


Kailana said...

Picture books would be a great idea for when you start to get tired, I would think! They are so nice to look at, even with tired eyes!

Nise' said...

I'd have to dig out picture books as I put most of them away since the kids are grown. Have a good sleep.

christina said...

Oh what gorgeous picture books! And what a great idea to use in the 'thon.

Keep it up; you're doing an excellent job!

Eva said...

I loved this post! Although it made me very sad that I don't have any picture books in the house...

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

Wow, the pictures in that first book were gorgeous! Good luck with the rest of the Read-a-Thon!