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Book With Pictures

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    Have you ever seen an inquisitive monkey who accidently causes chaos in a city just by poking into things? In the book Curious George written by H.A. Rey, that is exactly what happens. In every page turned, the reader can see how George puts on a yellow hat, gets captured, attempts to fly, calls the fire department, escapes prison and flies away while hanging onto balloons. Throughout all of these activities, George is enjoying every moment of it because he is a curious monkey. In the end, George reaches his true destination at the zoo and continues with his monkey business with the other animals. As a child, I surely enjoyed this book for its humor and illustrations.

    The text in most picture books are short and in simple sentences or paragraphs. In this book, the text is organized into short paragraphs, simple sentences with a moderate size. One element I noticed in the text is the pace. According to From Cover to Cover, pace is also known as “the drama of turning the page” (Horning, 2010, pg. 93). H.A. Rey had accomplished the use of pace by breaking up the text into meaningful segments and heightening the tension. To be more in depth, I will use the example of George being on the deck and attempting to fly. On page 12 of the book, the text indicates George being intrigued by the sea gulls and their flying skills and wanting to try for himself. As the reader turns the page, there is tension rising about what will happen next. The next page illustrates how George falls into the ocean and struggles, which represents the consequence of his action. Each page describes an action that George takes and the consequences that follow, which help the reader move to the next page.

    Another element of text I have noticed is the use of predictability. This book is appropriate for age levels 5 and up. As the child continues to read the book over and over again, the development of predictability occurs. Without a doubt, a child can easily predict what will happen next in the book as they grow more of an understanding. Similar to the pace, the use of predictability is accomplished by an action and consequence structure. This element would also help the reader move to the next page. I think this organization of the text I sufficient for the story being told because it is clear, straightforward and easy for the children to follow.

    Looking at the front cover of the book, I think it is simple and not as eye catching as other books. However, the reader can get a sense of what the storyline will be. The color of the cover helps the reader relate to the story. The monkey is red, which suggests excitement or cheerfulness. The firemen are wearing a blue uniform, suggesting that they would “calm” the monkey or situation. As you read on, the firemen do catch the monkey and make the situation “calm.” Another element is the texture. There are some areas that are soft and smooth, while other areas are rough. Looking at the cover, the medium used was pencil or graphite to create a sense of depth.

    Throughout the story, I noticed two elements of the illustrations that stood out to me: color and value. Unlike the cover, there was barely any use of color in every page. The illustrator used a combination of achromatic and monochromatic colors. There was no doubt why the color was red used as monochromatic because of the excitement the story brings on. The different shades of gray helped make the red “pop out.” In From Cover to Cover, Horning states, “value refers to the lightness or darkness of any color” (2010, pg. 97). Usually this element is used to create a sense of depth and volume. I can sense depth in the illustrations of the ocean. As George is falling into the ocean, the reader can clearly imagine how deep the ocean is with the use of value. It works perfectly because of the color theme of gray, white and red. Moreover, I think the illustrator purposely did not include any other colors in order to enhance the reader’s imagination. In the texts, the author uses descriptions for certain areas such as the yellow hat in order for the reader to imagine it.

    In addition to the elements discussed, there are a few more elements from Cover to Cover used in the creation of this book. Out of all the books I have read as a child, I do not recall any of them using graduation to its illustrations. As stated in From Cover to Cover, “graduation in color shows the gradual change from one color to another, as we see in nature when the sun sets” (Horning, 2010, pg. 99). Although there is no color used in this book, the reader can identify the gradual change of color. When George gets stuck in prison, he thinks of escaping from the bars. He climbs up and the policeman notices he is gone and comes running in. At this point, George is blocking the sun from coming in, suggesting no graduation. However in the next illustration as he escapes from the door, the bed is drawn in a lighter shade of grey to represent the gradual change of color. This helps support the story because it creates movement in the reader’s mind.

    Another element H.A. Rey accomplished using is the style of the book. After reading Cover to Cover, I came to the conclusion that Rey had used the style of cartoon art, which is the most popular style. It can be used in many different ways. Some authors can use it in comic strips or a way to lighten a heavy subject. This style is used in this book because it makes the story more humorous. Unlike some other books, there is humor and silly actions being performed that make children laugh while reading. The element helps support the story because it is widely used in humorous picture books that contain a lot of action.

    As discussed, the use of all the different types of elements forms to make a children’s book. It is interesting how the author and illustrator never meet but work together to publish a book. In this case, the style, color, pace, predictability, value, graduation and texture perfectly blend together to create a humorous book for children to enjoy. It is a popular book that many children enjoy, resulting in sequels being published.

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    Book With Pictures. (2022, Mar 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/book-with-pictures/

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