Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Afternoon Reading

While my bookseller friend and I were hanging out this afternoon, she showed me an incredible picture book called Mama by Jeanette Winter. What's so incredible about it, you ask?

Mama includes only two words of text--mama and baby. Otherwise, the story is told through the pictures. This, I heard once, is what a good picture book is supposed to do. It's not just supposed to illustrate text. Its pictures are supposed to follow their own storyline.

Mama is the true story of a young hippo that was separated from his mother during the 2004 tsunami. He is rescued by humans and eventually bonds with a tortoise that's over 100 years old.

This is a story, a nature story, I guess you'd call it, that a very young reader can "read" by following the illustrations. I can imagine it becoming part of pre-school and kindergarten curricula for years to come.

And I mean that in a good way.


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