CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 32. . . .April 18, 2014
“To bring books and the joy of reading to all African children” is the Vision Statement of the OSU Children’s Library Fund, the publisher of My Book of Stripes. And, while the contents of this concept book, especially in terms of its full-colour photos, definitely have a specific African focus, the book’s contents will still speak to a North American audience. On the opening page, a young boy, the one who is also found on the cover, exclaims, “I like stripes”, with the first expression of that liking being found in the tie he is wearing. Over the next 28 pages, stripes are identified in various settings and situations, including clothing, toys, vehicles and buildings, as well as in the natural world. With the exception of the book’s first and last page, the text utilizes the same structure, a simple declarative sentence that directs the photograph viewer as to the stripes s/he should be looking for. Consequently, the text attached to a photo of a girl holding a watermelon reads: “The watermelon has stripes.” After an initial reading, youngsters might be directed back to the photos to find other stripes that weren’t specifically named in the text. For instance, in the case of the watermelon-holding boy, a stripe can also be seen on his shirt and other stripes are found on the building in the background. On the book’s closing page, the striped-tie-wearing boy reappears to say, “Bye-bye stripes”, with his now removed tie casually draped over his shoulder. Play obviously awaits.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.