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Black and White Paperback – October 24, 2005
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About the Author
- Lexile measure : 610L
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Item Weight : 5.8 ounces
- Paperback : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0618636870
- ISBN-13 : 978-0618636877
- Dimensions : 7.81 x 0.11 x 12 inches
- Reading level : 4 - 7 years
- Publisher : HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 24, 2005)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #165,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Macaulay posts this warning right on the title page: "This book appears to contain a number of stories that do not necessarily occur at the same time. Then again, it may contain only one story. In any event, careful inspection of both words and pictures is recommended."
I'll say this at the beginning: As a children's librarian, I would never read or show this to a class. There is no way to explain this complicated, interconnected book of four stories that run into and out of each other.
Here is how they look. There are four stories on the two adjoining pages with two stories per page. Each story has predominant colors of blue, green, brown, and black and white. Colors and patterns spill and slip from one story to the next, but the thrust of the story is done in black and white. It must be noted that Macaulay is NOT saying that everything is black and white. Oh no! If anything he is saying that everything is NOT black and white, but he uses black and white, both words and pictures, to say it.
What I just wrote in that last sentence gives a sense of the story. It is brilliantly creative! I had a special story time with some gifted students last year, second graders. They had so much fun with this book. I had to get them started on "reading" the pictures (this is a picture book with narrative on each story block), but once they caught on, they rip-roared with the story!!
Remember the admonition to stay in the lines and not think outside the box. David Macaulay failed that class because he both colors outside the lines--literally--and his characters get outside their cartoon boxes and into each other's boxes. The story is one big paean to imagination, creativity, whimsy, flight of fancy, freedom to explore, and freedom to see the Big Picture.
Wow, this is one great book. Every child should own it! I certainly do!
Is this four books in one? Or is it one book told from four different perspectives?
Each double-page is divided into quarters, and each quarter tells its own story, but the stories (and indeed, the pages) relate to one another. The more you read it, the more connections you make. This is one of those left-brain/right-brain books that is entertaining for most ages. It works as four picture books for very young children, and it works for the adults who read it to them. Ages five to dead, as my kids say.
Good one to take with us for Thanksgiving dinner - I'll bet grandpa will love it.