Title: Jumanji


Author: Chris Van Allsburg

Illustrator/Photographer: Chirs Van Allsburg

Publisher and Year: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981

Number of pages: 28 pgs

Tags: Olivia Simkins, Picture Book, Award Winner, Fiction

Genre: Ficiton


This book is about a little girl named Judy and a little boy named Peter, who find an abandoned board game at the park and decide to play it while their parents are out. As they play, the game comes to life. Whatever happened in the game happens in real life. This book has also won the Caldecott Award.

This book functions as a window for the readers to look into. Readers are able to look into a fantasy scenario of a game that comes to life when someone play it. This book is intended to serve as a warning to children to listen to their parents. At the end, one of the guests talks about how her sons never like to follow to directions. The reader can see that the boys stole the game board in the illustration on the next page. This serves as foreshadowing that the boys are going to end up playing the game because the do not listen or follow direction in real life and when it comes to playing with games and toys. I think that the Illustrator didn’t represent any culture or multicultural aspects in this book. Both the boy and the girl are white and so are the other characters in the book.

The illustrations in the book are all in black and white and are all framed. This allows for the readers to look in on the story, rather than to be a part of it. The underlying ideology in this book is to listen to directions or else something like this could happen to you. It serves as a pre-cautionary tale for younger kids.


The Hello, Goodbye Window

Title: The Hello, Goodbye Window


Author: Norton Juster

Illustrator/Photographer: Chris Raschka

Publisher and Year: Michael Di Capua Books, 2005

Number of pages: 29 pgs

Tags: Olivia Simkins, Picture Book, Award Winner, Realistic Fiction

Genre: Realistic Fiction


A little girl has a special window at her Nanna and Poppy’s house. At this window all the special things happen, like, making funny faces to have a T-Rex visit! This story is told from the little girl’s perspective. It is also a winner of the Caldecott Award.

This text can function as a mirror to some readers. They may be able to connect to the story because it could remind them of the time that they visited their grandparents or all the different things that they do when they go to a relative’s house. The illustrator depicts a multicultural family in this book, which I think can benefit the readers because some may come from a biracial family as well and it can help them connect on a deeper level. Since the text is from the littler girl’s point of view it is helpful to read this to a younger age group because it talks about how it is okay to feel different emotions at the same time. For example, she is happy to go home because she missed being with her parents, but she is sad too because she doesn’t want to leave her Nanna and Poppy. I think this is a good thing to share with younger children because they could be going through major life changes and may not understand how to cope with some of the emotions they may be feeling.

The illustrations have a lot of thick lines to show the intensity of the emotions the little girl has for her Nanna and Poppy. She is always saying wonderful things about them and the lines help support that. The little girl is usually placed at the bottom of the page compared to her grandparents, who are usually at the top of the page. This is showing that the grandparents have a higher power than she does and it also shows that the grandparents should be seen as an authoritative figure. Throughout this book it is mentioned about some of the things she can and can’t do. I think the ideology that is presented in this book is to make sure children follow their guardian’s rules.


Saint George and the Dragon

Title: Saint George and the Dragon


Retold By: Margaret Hodges

Illustrator/Photographer: Trina Schart Hyman

Publisher and Year: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 1984

Number of pages: 32 pgs

Tags: Olivia Simkins, Picture Book, Fantasy, 4-5, Award Winner

Genre: Fantasy


This book is about the Red Cross Knight that is sent on an adventure by the Queen of the fairies to slay a dragon that has been terrorizing the land. The knight ends up slaying this dragon and in doing so, it brings peace back to the people of this land. This book is also a Caldecott winner.

I feel that this text would serve as a window because the reader is looking into a fantasy world where there are dragons and fairies. This story does not depict race other than White characters in the story. There is also no other culture shown in this story. I feel that the story should have included other cultures and races so students maybe able to connect to the story in some way. The way they may be able to connect to it in the fact that they might have listened to this story when they were growing up or they could remember it from reading it as a child.

The illustrations throughout the entire book have a frame around the images and the text. The author did this to show that the readers are looking in on the story and not experiencing the story first hand. In the beginning of the book dark colors are used to show the people and the land are not happy and are upset because they are being terrorized by this dragon. As the story goes on the colors seem to get lighter and lighter until the end of the story where the colors are bright and vivid to show that the dragon being slayed has made the people of the land very hopeful and happy.


Yo! Yes?

Title: Yo! Yes?


Author: Chris Raschka

Illustrator/Photographer: Chris Raschka

Publisher and Year: Orchard Books, 1993

Number of pages: 29 pgs

Tags: Olivia Simkins, Culture, Fiction, K-1, Picture Book, Award Winner

Genre: Fiction


This book is about two boys who meet each other as they are walking down a street one-day. One says, “Yo!” to the other and this sparks the friendship between the two. This book also is a Caldecott Honor Book.

This text could serve as a mirror because students could relate to this in some way by connecting their own life experiences to it. It may remind them of a time they went on a walk or may remind them of a time that they made a new friend. This book also shows two different cultures in this book. One boy is White and the other is African American. However, I do see a stereotypical aspect to the book when I looked deeper into the illustrations. When depicting the African American boy. His attire seems to be more comfortable and not as formal, including sneakers and more of a “hip-hop” style. For the White boy, he is dressed in a nice button up shirt with a suit coat over it and very nice pants. I think that the illustrator could have both of the boys in t-shirts and sneakers, rather than one dress up and the other in more laid back attire.

There are no frames in this book so as the reader, we can be involved in this on a more personal level and be a part of this story as well. It also starts out using a dark blue colored background to show the emotion of the boy who has no friends and is very sad and lonely. As the story goes on it goes to a light pink color, then to a yellow background. This shows the progression of the character’s emotions turning from sad to happy.