Friday, May 21, 2010

Less is more – Part 2

Another picture book I love for its ‘simplicity’ is Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett (823 G788O PIC BK).

The whole story is told with only five words used in a highly ingenious and entertaining manner.  We have four objects as named in the title shown on the first four pages.  Pretty straight forward.  Page five shows us an apple and pear together but page six is where things take a turn toward the unexpected.  We now have a cutely-posed, orange-coloured bear! We proceed onto an orange-coloured pear and after that, a somewhat bemused apple-shaped/coloured bear.  And on it goes.

Great for young children learning these particular sight words but with lots of potential for more.  What about:

-For older kids it might be an interesting way to introduce nouns and adjectives.

-There is also story structure to be looked at and the interplay between the words and illustrations.  Though this isn’t the strongest element about the book, there is a fairly predictable interaction between the bear and the fruit that does provide a beginning, middle and end.

-Maybe set a challenge to write a book with just five words.  That should keep students out of mischief for a little while.

-But really, it’s the creative use of language and the way in which this story is being told with such originality that is just plain fun, fun, fun.


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