Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude

I confess. I have never read a word of Gertrude Stein's writing. I picked this book up out of sheer affection for Calef Brown's illustrations and Jonah Winter's writing.
My husband was a little perplexed reading this (by request) to our son the other night. I on the other hand, adore it's wandering, nonsensical, lyrical prose. It reminds me of Seuss, but more sophisticated. I love reading this book aloud, and my son, seems to really respond as well. Toss in a few modern artist references and you have a fan.
Biographical picture books seem so challenging to perfect, but if the intention is to get the reader interested in the subject, then THIS book succeeded. But IS that the intention? Or does it just serve as an soundbite to introduce a writer to children, filing that away for the future when they are actually old enough to read their works. I'm not entirely sure of the targeted audience. The tone and writing certainly play a bigger part here: How do you feel about biographical picture books where the biographical information itself is so sparse?

1 comment:

Kathy Weller said...

Gina, That is a really good question. I have not sen the book (yet) but I have asked myself the same question about other books.

I'm a big fan of Calef Brown's artwork and poetry so I will definitely check this out and get back to you with my opinion on this book!