Title: Willy’s Picture
Author: Anthony Browne
Reading level: 2.8
Schu’s rating: Four out of four
Notes: It should be in any art teacher’s collection.
Willy’s Pictures was published in 2000 and I just discovered it on Friday night. Willy, the chimp, creates paintings that resemble those of famous artwork. Each human subject is replaced by a chimp. Inspired works include The Herring Net, Mona Lisa, Vase with Twelves Sunflowers, The Birth of Venus, and more. I think adults will realize the differences between the original artwork and Anthony Browne’s creations more than children.
I usually buy Anthony Browne’s books as soon as they come out; for some reason Into the Forest slipped by me. Browne’s illustrations and use of color pulls the reader into the story and leaves you begging for more. The basic story is about a boy wondering about his dad’s whereabouts. The boy’s anxiety comes through right away. His mother asks him to take a cake to his ill grandmother. During his journey he comes upon a boy selling milk, an inquisitive girl, two lost children, and a mysterious red coat. Readers will draw parallels to Little Red Riding Hood. Nothing in this story is as it appears!
Anthony Browne’s Voices in the Park must have been written for followers of the six traits of writing. Voice is known as the golden thread that runs through a piece of writing. Voices in the Park is the perfect way to introduce how voice changes depending on the point of view. The reader hears the same story four times…through the eyes of an uptight mother, a sad man, a lonely (but hopeful) boy, and a lovely girl. The illustrations perhaps tell the story even better than the words. Enjoy! (The photo belongs to my Flickr pool. I’m documenting every book read in 2008 via photographs. :) )