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Friday, March 26, 2010

Illustrated Friday: Smoky Night

Smoky Night is a great example of a book that is beautifully illustrated, incredibly socially significant, and needs to be used judiciously with children. Smoky Night is about what happens during a riot and a young boy's attempts to understand what's going on around him. In the chaos, the boy loses his cat; ultimately, the cat brings the boy and a neighbor together in a way they didn't expect, so something good came out of all the negativity around them.

When I started Illustrated Friday, I led off with the statement that illustrated books are not automatically books for children (just like cartoons and animated shows aren't automatically shows for children, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.) Books are a great way to communicate ideas, and this book does just that. The mixed media illustrations by David Diaz are a great match for the concepts of the book; Eve Bunting doesn't shy away from difficult issues. I can totally see this book being a great way to introduce a discussion of race and violence with older kids; it's definitely a book to preview before you share it, and that's not a bad thing at all. Happy Friday!

1 comment:

ParaJunkee said...

This sounds really interesting. I really like the cover. I wouldn't be able to read it to mine right now, but it might be something that I check out. Never to sure about mixed media art, it sometimes looks scrap booky. ♥ Parajunkee

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