CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 18 . . . .May 13, 2005
From TV studios to video games and the Internet, Dominic Ali and Michael Cho, along with their mascot, Max McLoon, encourage readers to ask the "Big Six" questions when faced with messages from the media. Ali's version of the "Big Six" follows:
Media Madness is similar in theme to Shari Graydon's recent book, Made You Look. Both titles encourage readers to become critically literate - to question the many messages they encounter every day in print, on the radio, and on television. This book targets a slightly younger audience than Made You Look. Its picture book size, colourful pages, large, labeled illustrations and "sidekick," Max, are all aimed to get the younger crowd asking who, how, and what to the TV shows they watch, the music they listen to, and the video games they play.
The information in the book is organized by media type, with a brief introduction and conclusion. For each type of media (television, music, magazines, newspapers, comic books, video games, and the web), the reader is shown who does the work to produce the media and the pages that follow give information about that particular type of media and the messages it sends. Each page spread has a main "blurb" of information with several sidebars, fact boxes, and "Try This" boxes with tips for deconstructing messages.
Ali's text is age-appropriate and clear. The combination of the text and Michael Cho's illustrations is key to this book's success. The text is flowing, fun, and full of facts while the illustrations are bright and humourous. The illustrations are cartoon-like and full of funny details. Cho's drawings include all ages, colours, and both sexes of people (and loons). Max, the book's loony mascot, falls for all kinds of advertising scams throughout the book, and this, along with the colourful pages bursting with text and drawings, ensures high kid appeal. The book will also appeal to teachers and teacher-librarians for its usability as a media-studies tool. The many suggested activities, such as cutting all of the ads out of the arts section of a newspaper to see how much newspaper is left without them, will be easy to use in a classroom or library setting. This book is a must-have for public and school libraries.
Grace Sheppard created this message. She is a Children's Librarian with the Ottawa Public Library in Ottawa, ON.
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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.