Sunday, February 22, 2015

456-457 (2015 #13-14). Two Picture Books From Belgium

Red is a good picture book about the issue of bullying and should spark good discussions - although I do wish the girl who started the teasing had been brave enough to be the first to stand up for her friend when teasing turned into bullying. The illustrations by Flemish author Jan De Kinder were created using pencil, charcoal, ink, aquarelle (watercolor), acrylic and collage (bits of newspaper in the tree leaves); and red, obviously, is a predominate color.  I will definitely be purchasing this book for my university library's children's literature collection, used by future teachers.

Roger is Reading a Book immediately reminded me of the Dick and Jane basal readers of my childhood (without the 1960s-style illustrations), with the frequent repetition of phrases so helpful to beginning readers. There are also examples of onomatopoeia. The illustrations by Flemish author Koen Van Biesen are in mixed media in a muted palette that is predominately browns, greens, and oranges. At first it's not immediately obvious that Roger and Emily were in separate rooms, as a wall is not visible.

Originally published in Belgium, the English translations of these books are by Laura Watkinson under the Flemish Literature Fund.

 © Amanda Pape - 2015

[These unbound galley proofs were sent to me in exchange for unbiased reviews by the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.]

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