On Market Street

Author: Arnold Lobel
Illustrator: Anita Lobel
Published: Harper Collins 1981
Pages: 40
Tags: Jamal Jackson, Fiction, Award Winning, Preschool- 3rd, Alphabet, Anita Lobel, Arnold Lobel
Genre: Fiction

A boy wakes up and goes down to Market Street to buy a few items for a friend. When he recounts sll of the items he was able to buy, he goes through the list A to Z describing what he got. Each item being described is transformed into a vibrant outfit.
This book does not have much of a plot, but it is an award winner for its illustrations. The drawings used for each letter are fascinating and creative. On each page there is a framed image and the image is of a person dressed as or made up of items that can be found at the market. A younger reader would get real enjoyment and entertainment from seeing the pictures, but would also get practice at learning the alphabet. The word and objects used are simple ones that can be easily learned by the children but also make the illustrations interesting. Like zipper for Z is a cool word but the illustrations of a man made of zippers is also an interesting drawing. I have critiques on the representation of the book however. The characters are all white which isn’t a bad thing but could be better. If characters can be made out of ice cream they should be able to be made out of varying ethnicities.
The only ideologies I can see being communicated is that the market, or shopping, is a fun experience. It’s also interesting that that items were all given to his “friend” when he returned home. This could be a message about sharing or giving being a fun thing to do. As a young reader it would be easy to learn messages of materialism through the purchasing of all these items but the boy gives it all away reminding the children that the fun was in the shopping and trying on of different items not necessarily having the items.

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