Friday, July 8, 2011

Reading Journal July 8, 2011

The Boss Baby

Written and Illus. by Marla Frazee

Beach Lane Books, copyright 2010

Book design by Ann Bobco

Text set in Heatwave

Illustrations are rendered in black Prismacolor pencil and gouache on Strathmore 2-ply cold press paper

40 pages, counting the end papers, with pages 1 & 40 pasted down

The art for this book is tremendous, with great humorous touches and a wonderful “Mad Men” look, and the text is also full of humor, using many business terms (boss, perks, meetings, executive gym, 24/7, out of the box.) Told in a very straight-forward, tongue-in-cheek way, this book makes a wonderful read-aloud, which parents will totally love. That makes me wonder who the real audience for this book is. It is not the baby itself, who would be way too young to understand the terminology or the humor. It might well be an older sibling who feels displaced by the baby—this book would provide a way of laughing at the situation, while describing pretty much what has happened. And it might make a child wonder if he or she was a boss baby when first born.

Roller Coaster

Written and Illus. by Marla Frazee

Voyager Books, Harcourt, Inc., copyright 2003

Illustrations done in graphite and watercolor on Strathmore 2-ply hot press paper

From the CIP—“Twelve people set aside their fears and ride a roller coaster, including one who had never done so before.” There is almost no story-line. The author describes people waiting in line, checking their height, deciding not to ride, getting aboard, and the ride itself. The beauty and genius of the book is in the illustrations, where the twelve riders are differentiated and fleshed out in the drawings. Facial expression and gesture convey way more than the simple text as the ride is taken. This is a book to study for subtle characterization, esp. through pictures.

Very defined time-line—waiting in line, riding the roller coaster, and getting off. However, each of the twelve riders has been through a unique experience on this shared ride. The relationships of the 6 pairs are worth examining in detail.

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