Author/ Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher/ Year: 1993
Number of Pages:
Owen is a mouse who has a blanket named Fuzzy. Owen takes Fuzzy everywhere and they do everything together. But as Owen gets older, Fuzzy also gets older, and more dirty. His parents are not sure what they will do when Owen starts school because he cannot take Fuzzy with him. Ms. Tweezers, the neighbor, comes up with all sorts or ideas to help Owen’s parents get rid of Fuzzy. They dip Fuzzy in vinegar, they try to throw Fuzzy away, and they even attempt to get Owen to give Fuzzy to the Blanket Fairy. But Owen doesn’t give Fuzzy up, even when his parents start telling him the word “no.” Finally, his mother decides to cut Fuzzy into handkerchiefs so that it is small enough for Owen to take to school.
This story is a mirror for children who have a special bond or attachment to a favorite stuffed animal or toy. Some children outgrow their favorite toy/stuffed animal, but others find it very difficult to say goodbye or leave a toy behind. The story offers a positive way for parents to help their kids transition from the home setting to a school setting.
Fuzzy is a yellow blanket. This could symbolize Owen’s happiness when Fuzzy is with him. Yellow also is associated with creating new ideas. Owen and Fuzzy spend their days creating fun and entreating new games. Or the color yellow foreshadows the ideas that Owen’s parents and Ms. Tweezers come with to try to keep Fuzzy away from Owen. It could also foreshadow betrayal. Owen is upset because his parents will not allow him to bring Fuzzy to school.
The text states that Owen’s parents try many ideas to get Fuzzy away from Owen. They come up with all these ideas, but Ms. Tweezers is the one who “fills them in” about using the word “no.” The text kind of implies that Owen is basically allowed to do what he wants because his parents have never told him “no.”
Author/ Illustrator: Peggy Rathman
Publisher/ Year: 1994
Number or Pages: 18
Genre: Picture Narrative
The zoo keeper makes sure to look up all the animals in their cages at night. He says goodnight to each of the them, but doesn’t know that the gorilla has stolen the keys and has let all the animals out. After the zoo keeper thinks he’s locked everything, he goes to his house, with the animals following close behind, and goes to sleep. The animals all pile in the room and go to sleep as well and say goodnight. The zoo keeper’s wife turns on the light, sees all the animals, and takes them back to their cages. The gorilla follows her back, climbs into bed and goes to sleep.
This book has no words so the pictures narrate the story. The pictures are very colorful and fun, keeping younger children engaged in the book. The pictures have no frames on them so readers are inside the story instead of looking in from the outside. The pictures have a rectangular shape which means that a character is not secure, or in this case, the zoo keeper’s keys are stolen and the cages are all unsecured.
Another fun way to keep children interested in this book, is that a mouse is always present on each of the pages. This is a fun way to see if children can find the tiny mouse on every page of the book. Sometimes the mouse is in plain sight, mostly next to the gorilla, but other times, he is hiding and it takes a longer time to find him.
This book is a great tool to help children come up with their own different ways of telling this story because the text is missing. The only words mentioned are “good night”. This allows children to challenge their creativity and to feel as if they have all the power because they are telling the story in their own special way. This allows for the story to be read multiple times because the story can still have the same ending, but can be told in multiple ways, according to the way each child would like.
Author: Russell Hoban
Illustrator: Garth Williams
Publisher/ Year: Harper Collins 1960
Number of Pages: 32
It’s bedtime for Frances, but before she can fall asleep, she needs a glass of milk, a kiss from mom and dad, and reassurance that monsters are not in her room.
Many children can relate to this book. It is a mirror for children who have trouble falling asleep or who may try anything and everything to stay awake. Just as Frances asks for milk and later on, a piece of cake before she goes to bed, many times children also ask their parents for a snack or a glass of water/milk before they head on to bed. Another reason Frances can’t go to sleep is because she is scared that there is a monster in her room. Most children have told their parents at least one time that there was a monster hiding in the closet or underneath the bed. And just like all parents do, Frances’ parents look around the room to check for any monsters, tell her that there are not any monsters in the room, and tell her to go back asleep.
The text is almost always on the opposite side of the pictures and is written exactly how a child would think while trying to fall asleep. Frances sings the alphabet to herself, and then stops at a letter and starts to think about something that starts with that letter, then switches to thinking about something totally unrelated. Children’s minds are so full of imagination, they think about one thing one minute, and the next, they have moved on to something else.The pictures are not framed so the reader is inside the story. The pictures have some color, but get darker and then lighter, symbolizing the coming of night and then night turning into day.
Author/Illustrator: Ludwig Bemelmans
Publisher/ Year: 1939
Number of Pages: 40
Madeline, one of 12 little girls taken care of by Madame Clavel, is the littlest, but the bravest of the children. One night, Madeline wakes up screaming and crying because she has an appendicitis. She is rushed to the hospital and immediately taken to surgery. The rest of the girls come to visit her in the hospital. After seeing the toys and candy, that night all of the girls wake Madame Clavel because they want their appendixes out as well.
The color yellow is the most used color in the pictures. The color yellow can be used as a symbol for illness or sickness. This color could possibly foreshadow Madeline’s appendicitis.The little girls are always dressed in yellow as well, which could symbolize their happiness or optimism. Madame Clavel is seen dressed in a dark black or blue dress which symbolizes her authority and dignity as the guardian of the girls.
The text is in rhyme; it mirrors the images and is also underneath the pictures. The pictures do not have any frames around them as if the reader is inside the story. The story can be used as a window to teach children about a different culture and time period as this story is sent in France during what seems to be the 1920’s. The style of clothing has changed and the setting would not be familiar to them. It could also serve as a mirror to children who have had their appendix removed or have had some surgery. Or, the story may help those who know someone who has had surgery.
This story can also be a lesson to those who want even more than what they already have. The other little girls wanted their appendixes taken out so that they could get different gifts and candy. But the story reinforces the idea that the children should be happy with what they already have.
Author/Illustrator: Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan
Publisher/Year: Mulberry Books 1991
Number of Pages: 29
A boy learns to understand how to help those who are in need while he helps out one day with Uncle Willie at the soup kitchen.
This story is very informative. It is a window that teaches children about the functions of soup kitchens and how they help feed many homeless people or those who can’t afford to eat.Many children have not ever seen a homeless person up close before and might have questions about them. This story, told through the eyes of the boy, shows children how to help those who might be in need. The soup kitchen is open to anyone who is hungry and the boy learns a little more about those who are homeless. He learns that some people do not have homes to go to after work, and some don’t even have jobs. He also learns that most people come to the soup kitchen because they cant afford to buy food to feed themselves or their families. This story could also be a mirror to kids who might know someone who is homeless, or even themselves be homeless. Or it could be a mirror to kids who have helped those who are homeless, whether it be working in a soup kitchen or helping those in need in different ways.
The pictures are not framed so the reader is engaged with the boy, being in on the action as he works in the soup kitchen and understands more about it and those who come in and eat. The text is very important, leaving many inspiring quotes for young readers to remember. “Sometimes people need help” is a great introduction quote to start a conversation with children who might not fully understand what a soup kitchen is for.
Author/Illustrator: Jan Brett
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Inc. 1999
Number of pages: 31
A little boy named Matti makes a piece of gingerbread into the shape of a boy. The cooking directions specifically say NOT to peek in the oven as the gingerbread is baking. But Matti can’t help himself and takes a tiny peek. The next thing Matti sees is a gingerbread baby popping out of the oven and running away. Matti and the rest of the villagers must find a way to catch him!
Jan Brett is known for taking classic stories, mostly folklores, and twisting the story just a bit to show her own ideas. The pages of the book are framed so readers are outsiders looking in as the story is told. On the left and right of the pages, there are pictures in the shape of a gingerbread baby that show what has happened or what will happen next. The text could stand alone without the pictures, but it is nice to see the “sneak peak” of what is about to happen. The images are colorful, expressing freedom, at least for the gingerbread baby. The gingerbread baby is always running to the right, as if to keep the story moving forward.
The characters are dressed in what looks to be traditional period clothing from Germany (i.e., lederhosen). This dress acts as a window for children to learn about the past as well as a different culture. The story can also teach a lesson to children to follow directions and/ or to be patient. If not, something unexpected can happen. The story can act as a mirror for children who might see themselves as Matti, very curious and sometimes impatient but full of imagination and creativity. Overall, the book is just a fun and entertaining read for children.
Author: Carmen Tafolla
Illustrator: Magaly Morales
Publisher and Year: Dragonfly Books, 2009
Number of Pages: 28
This story is about a young girl and her love for paletas and her barrio. A paleta is an icy fruit popsicle, and a barrio is a neighborhood. On each page she talks about all the roles that the paleta plays in her neighborhood.
This book is in English and in Spanish. On the left page there is the English text and on the right there is the Spanish translation. Since this book is in both Spanish and English it can function as a mirror and window. For a reader who is from a Mexican American background this book would function as a mirror. This would be a mirror because the reader would be able to connect with the language and the culture of the text. On the other hand this text could function as a window for a reader who doesn’t come from a Mexican American background. This reader would just be able to get a glimpse of this culture. They are probably unable to connect with the story the way a Mexican American would be able to but they can still learn and take away some new knowledge from this text. Since this text has translations of some words in the back it can also function as a door for readers. With the translations in the text readers are able to apply the words in their lives making them more a part of a different culture. Only one culture is represented in this text and that is the Mexican American culture. I gained a lot of knowledge from this culture just from a few pages. I had no idea that fruit popsicles was a big part of some Mexican American neighborhoods. I was also able to learn some new Spanish words that were within the text.
The images in this text are beautiful. They are full of color and I noticed that the color schemes are similar to the different colors of the paletas, which are mostly primary colors. The images are very detailed and in the backgrounds of the images the reader is able to see into houses and stores. On page 2 in the background the reader is able to see into the house of the main character. In the house her mother is cooking a traditional Mexican American meal of tortillas, tacos and fruit. I love how there is so much detail in the pictures because it allows the reader to see into the life of someone who is from a different culture. Overall I really enjoyed this book because it teaches about a different culture in a beautiful and colorful way.
Author: Simms Taback
Illustrator: Simms Taback
Publisher and Year: Penguin Group, 1999
Number of Pages: 32
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat is about Joseph who had a very worn over coat so he turned it into a jacket. Once the jacket was worn he turned it into a vest and so on and so forth. At the very end he has nothing so he writes a book about his overcoat. The moral of this story is that “you can always make something out of nothing.”(Taback, page 30)
This text would function as a door for readers. Joseph never gave up on his overcoat and made the best out of it as he could. He never complained about not having a nice overcoat and just made it into something else he could use like a jacket or vest and even a button. This shows that you can do a lot with a nothing, which is something a reader can apply to his or her own life. This book can also function as a mirror. Not having a lot is something that a lot of people experience in their life. Whether it is with food, money or clothes people have to work with what they have. A reader who has experienced something like this would be able to relate to Joseph and his story. On the other hand for a reader who has never experienced not having enough, this text would function as a window. These readers get the chance to see how difficult it can be to live off of so little. For readers who view this story as a window still have the opportunity to learn from the moral, that you can always make something out of nothing. At first glance this story lacks cultural diversity. But when the reader looks closer into the background it is seen that there is actual pictures of people who come from different cultures. Although different cultures are in the story I wish it was more prominent and that the reader didn’t have to search to see some diversity.
The images are very different than a lot of other children’s books. Some of the images look like they have been painted while there are also actual pictures of real people and food within most of the pages. There are very few words on the page, which allows the pictures to tell most of the story. There are so many small things in each image that draws the reader to look closer. The images may be a little strange but it works for the story. I really enjoyed this book and the images in it a lot. It had a good moral and the pictures keep the reader’s attention with all the detail.
Author: Nonny Hogrogian
Illustrator: Nonny Hogrogian
Publisher and Year: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 1971
Number of Pages: 25
One Fine Day is a Caldecott Medal winner. It is a story about a little fox that gets is tail cut off by an old woman for drinking her milk. The only way he is able to get his tail back is if he brings the old woman more milk.
The fox goes to a cow and asks for milk, the cow will only give him milk if he brings it grass. The story goes on like this until an old miller man feels sorry and gives the fox what he wants and doesn’t ask for anything in return. Since the miller man gave the fox what he asked for the fox was able to give everyone what they wanted in return for something of theirs so he was able to get his tail back.
This text could function as a mirror for readers. It would be considered a mirror for most reader because it shows the fox that did something wrong and he had to do many things to fix his mistake. This is something that a lot of people can relate to. Often times people make mistakes and it can be hard work to fix the mistakes someone has made. The text also shows that everything comes with a price. People aren’t usually willing to freely give up something that belongs to them without something in return. But sometimes in life we come across people like the old miller man who selflessly gives so others can be happy. Throughout the book there is a lack of racial diversity since all the characters are White or an animal. But there is a diversity in the economically sense. There is an old woman who doesn’t seem to have much, a maiden who also has little, but then there is a peddler who seems to have a little more than the rest of the characters. Each character in the text is different and brings a different feeling to the text.
The images in One Fine Day seem to have been painted with watercolor. They are light colors and the images are beautiful. The images are unframed which makes the reader feel like they are part of the images. On every page the fox is facing right and all the other characters are facing left. This means that when each character turns down the fox, he is still moving forward and not looking back. The images make the reader feel sad for the fox when he gets turned down because it is seen that every time he get more and more sad. In the very end the fox is happy with his tail and he is able to play with his friends. I thought that this text was a very cute story, it was sad at first but when the old man gave the fox what he needed it made it a happier story.
Author: Arthur Yorinks
Illustrator: Richard Egielski
Publisher and Year: Collin Publishers, 1986
Number of Pages: 27
Hey, Al is a winner of the Caldecott Medal. It is a story about a janitor named Al and his dog Eddie. Al and Eddie live in a small one-room apartment and Eddie is fed up with living in a “dump” (Yorinks, page 4). One morning a giant bird comes and tells Al of a beautiful island paradise and that he will return in the morning to take Eddie and
Al to this paradise. The paradise is amazing at first but then Eddie and Al start to become birds so they flee the island and return home.
This text could function as a window, mirror and door. Since a big bird flying to someone’s door and taking a person to an island paradise is not realistic it would be considered a window for all readers. On the other hand the story talks about a person who does not have a lot of money who wishes for a better life. So this book could function as mirror for a reader who might be going through tough times. The end of this story has a message, which is “Paradise lost is sometimes Heaven found” (Yorinks, page 27). This important message is what makes this book also function as door for the readers who want to apply it to their lives. The lesson to be learned is that sometimes you will want more in life but having more might not make you happy. You must find a way to be happy with what you have. I think that this is an important lesson to be learned and the book does it in a good kid friendly manor. In the text only one race is represented which is White. This is also the only race shown since the rest of the characters are animals. Both the human and the dog seem to share equal power throughout the text, both of their ideas are taken into consideration equally. I found this important because it shows that just being we are humans doesn’t mean we have the right to treat animals poorly.
All the images within this text are beautiful. They are all framed but in every image there are things that are outside the frame. For example on the first page there is an image of Al’s apartment, which is framed. But Al is physically walking into the door of his apartment into the frame. This style makes the reader feel like they are watching the story unfold and feel a part of it since not everything is in the frame. In the beginning of the story when Al and Eddie are unhappy with their life the colors are very dull. Once they are at the paradise island the colors become brighter. At the very end when Al and Eddie find out that they actually prefer the life they had before, the last image is of Al and Eddie repainting their apartment a bright, uplifting color. I really enjoyed this story, it was fun and in the end there is a lesson to be learned from Al and Eddie’s adventure.