You can write a book about anything. And often times two or three or four or more people end up writing about the same subject. I’ve been through some children’s books this week on the same subject. But each author tackles it in their own unique way. That’s why it’s important to have your own voice as a writer and stay true to it. Everyone has a story to tell and only you can tell yours in your own voice.
This week I read two books about penguins that wanted to fly.
“Up and Down” by Oliver Jeffers
“Penguins Can’t Fly” by Richard Byrne
I enjoyed both of them immensely. If I had to choose my favorite out of the two then it would be “Up and Down” by Oliver Jeffers. Which means that I am going to be looking out for more of his books. It’s just the way he writes, I guess. I read somewhere that the best children’s books have more than one layer of meaning to them. And it’s true. Both of these books have more than one layer and that is what makes them great.
You know what I like about Oliver Jeffers illustration? The fact that the illustration adds another dimension to the story. The pictures enhance the story not just interpret the story. The illustration is used to tell you more about what is going on, instead of just being there to put pictures to words. Ultimately both books are about friendship. In “Up and Down”, when the penguin’s desire to fly could be leading him into trouble and he’s not sure how he’s going to get out of it, his friend, the boy, rushes in to save him.
In the book, “Penguins Can’t Fly”, it is the penguin that does the rescuing. He rescues his friend, the gull. I liked “Penguins Can’t Fly” because it teaches the reader to be true to themselves. It says you don’t have to be like everyone else. Your talent is your talent and it is just as good as the other person. It may not seem spectacular to you but if you use it well, it could do a lot for others. I liked that lesson. I like children’s books which teach a good lesson.
Now let’s talk about the other two books about the same topic, well sort of.
“The Yes” by Sarah Bee and Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura
“Yes” by Jez Alborough.
“The Yes”, was an interesting read. I liked it even though it was something new to me. It was new, because the story was not direct but was kinda like a metaphor. The main character was a Yes and every time it tried to achieve something the Nos would try to stand in its way. It’s the kind of story you read again and again to get all the metaphors out of it. I liked it anyway.
I guess some of these children’s books are sometimes written for the adults who are reading them to their children.
“Yes” by Jez Alborough is about a little monkey that doesn’t want to go to sleep. Best to read it to baby at bed time, so that he gets the message. If you get my drift.
Another thought about “Up and Down”, I wondered why the characters were just simply called the penguin and the boy. Wouldn’t proper names have made them more personal?
Sent from my iPad