Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For Kids?

I spotted these books at work recently. I've been mulling them over for a few weeks, because I have mixed feelings about them. On one hand, they are very stylish. Check out some pages from Popville by Anouk Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud:

Without using words, it tells the story of a growing town. Roads are built, trees disappear, building crowd up against each other. Hmm. Clever, but is it really for kids? Will it hold their interest? Will they understand the message here?
This doesn't look like any town that I know, anyway. Where are the subdivisons, located far away from any commercial buildings? Highways? Malls? Parking lots? (If you want a complete look at this book, check out the video.)

The other book that caught my eye is called Seasons by Blexbolex. Now I'm not going to deny the appeal of these illustrations, and the book itself is put together beautifully. (Again, there is a video preview of the book--must be the new thing to do.)

I don't even mind some of the more abstract words.

But the book seems a little heavy on natural disasters.

There are also some pages ("torrent" and "debris" for example) which seem to have suffered in translation. I did some searching, and the book has many adult fans, but I question whether it will appeal to children. What do you think?


Rhiannon said...

We recently bought some books for my daughter (aged 3) that have no words, just pictures, and they tell a tale of the world changing over time to become more industrialised and less natural. I thought they would be boring for her, but she loves them. When she chooses her bedtime story at night she usually chooses one of them, and we can talk about what is changing and she will hopefully grow up to understand the impact we have on the planet. The books are called "window" and "belonging" by Jeannie Baker. As for those books, the popville book wouldn't last 5 seconds with my destructive preschooler, but with older children it might be ok. The seasons book I think would be good for my daughter, thats the kind of book she likes, not a lot of words but lots to be seen and discussed in the pictures.

ange_moore said...

They look like lovely books (very appealing for adults).

I'd get annoyed by the "accident" page - as a practicing traffic engineer accidents are now called "crashes" because they aren't really an accident, they are caused by something (speed, inattention, poor road conditions, etc)!

As for natural disaster stuff - we borrowed a book on volcanos from the library and my daughter was obsessed with the picture of a man being rescued from a mud slide. It cenrtainly generated a lot of discussion.