Picture Books – A Book

At night, the family of characters sleeps. When the book is opened, however, the family wakes up. The little girl wonders, if they live in a book, what is their story? All of her family members believe the book to be about them – a clown, a firefighter, a future astronaut. The little girl decides to set off to find her story, where she wanders through several genres of fiction before deciding that she will write her own book.

This is a book that will probably be best appreciated by grade school children old enough to read the book on their own. Much of the humor comes from the word balloons of each character talking, which would make the book almost impossible to read aloud to a large group, and might even be tricky when shared one on one. For older children however, particularly those just beginning to realize that books can fall into particular genres, the tone and humor are just right.

The characters in the book are drawn from the top down perspective, as if we the readers were peering down into a box containing all of the people and animals. The backgrounds range from very spare, when the girl is between stories to full page color when she is in the middle of someone else’s story. The story has a lot of visual appeal and impact.

While it may seem strange to say that a self-referential meta-fictional book that explores genre will appeal to children, I have to say that it will. There is lots of sly fun, and the unconventional approach and story line will intrigue kids with imagination, particularly those who have already been exposed to zillions of picture books by their parents and teachers.

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