Friday, February 19, 2010

Children’s Books: Looking Closely Around the Pond by Frank Serafini

Photo-illustrated children's books can be -- well, I’ll just say it -- a little lame. There is often the feeling that whatever thin story exists has been created around some existing pretty images. And it’s not that Looking Closely Around the Pond (Kids Can Press) doesn’t do that. Rather, in a way, it goes farther than that, using close-up images to look beyond the everyday. And so we see specific things and parts of things, and are asked, “What do you see?” In all cases, there are numerous possibilities, but only one right answer. This you see on the very next page where you see the creature intact, and are told something about it.

Looking Closely Around the Pond is the fifth book in the “Looking Closely” series from Frank Serafina, associate professor of children’s literature and literacy education at Arizona State University. The others in the series look at The Shore, The Garden, The Desert and The Forest.

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