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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Boys - Jeff Newman (Picture Book)

Released February 2010

Reviewed by Bob Walch

This wordless picture book demands close inspection of the illustrations and allows the reader to create the actual story. The first page shows a young boy wearing a red baseball hat assembling his equipment for a game of baseball.

Turn the page and the you'll find the child under a tree watching a game from afar. What's the problem? With a dejected air, he hangs his head and walks away. Soon he's sitting on a park bench, head hung low, with four old men.

Let's assume the child is very, very shy. Over the next few days he returns to the park bench where he silently sits with the old men. What happens next you'll have to decipher for yourself, but the odd antics of the child's new friends eventually leads to the baseball diamond.

If you are willing to try something totally different at story time this book would be certainly worth a try. Using your imaginations, you and your child will have to create your own story and this could be a lot of fun.

This book offers plenty of opportunities for interpretation and discussion. That being said,  I think it will work better with older rather than younger children. Teachers might even find this could be a rather interesting classroom assignment where each child creates the text for the story.

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