A Story with Pictures

Overview

Hi there. I am the author of A Story with Pictures. I hope you like this book. Ack! My manuscript! I forgot to give it to the illustrator!

When an author loses her manuscript, the illustrator decides to take charge, painting characters that would never appear in the author's book—including the author herself!

Through this energetic tale, students will laugh and learn as a duck offers tips about character, ...

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Overview

Hi there. I am the author of A Story with Pictures. I hope you like this book. Ack! My manuscript! I forgot to give it to the illustrator!

When an author loses her manuscript, the illustrator decides to take charge, painting characters that would never appear in the author's book—including the author herself!

Through this energetic tale, students will laugh and learn as a duck offers tips about character, setting, conflict, and other basic elements of a story.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Kanninen's first children's book confidently serves up metafiction to the picture-book crowd. "Hi there," says the narrator. "I am the author of A Story with Pictures." But the author has made a mistake: "Ack! Where are the pictures?" she groans when a turn of the page reveals an empty square labeled "picture." Alas, she has forgotten to give her manuscript to the illustrator, who seems to have created her own story and painted the author right into it. "She painted a duck. There are no ducks in this story," the author objects as she meets a oversize quacker (the backpack it wears reads "What's supposed to be in this book?"). Reed's (Punctuation Takes a Vacation) mixed-media compositions expertly contain the antic action-not only the duck but cows and trolls run amok, and the narrator slips on a banana peel, all on the same page. The artist renders the characters in a childlike style, painting them with skewered proportions and in gumdrop-colored clothes, and enhances her spreads with collage elements (googly eyes, a doll troll's tresses, digitally manipulated photos). She paints the author, for example, with a distinctly carrot-like nose and a thin rectangle for a neck, and later outfits her in a ballerina's tulle skirt borrowed from a photograph. Solid-color full-bleed backgrounds unify the look and add to the visual energy. Readers will enjoy the wild ride as Kanninen and Reed entertain various outlandish possibilities for the author's fate, and they'll learn a thing or two about terms like author, setting and plot in the process. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
Our author tries to take charge of this book immediately, introducing it, then finding to her horror that she has forgotten to give her manuscript to the illustrator. So how can her “Story with Pictures” get illustrations? By the second page spread, she has lost control, as a duck emerges with a backpack full of trouble. The illustrator seems to be taking over, depicting the author as she does not wish to be while trapping her in the book. But our feisty author fights back with ideas about dragons, baseball, and space flight. The final result is a new story, the very book we have in our hands. This makes for a bit crazy, perhaps post-modern kind of tale. Certainly, it is a different look at putting together a picture book. Reading it requires a mind open to the imaginative premise and a willingness to go along with the creation. Reed contributes child-like acrylic illustrations, including an author with a carrot-like nose and elbow-less arms, as well as a busybody duck. They interact on blank colored pages, frequently illustrating bits of storyline scribbled on a scrap of paper, with photographs added. This book is sure to be a challenge for readers from start to finish. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
What would happen if an artist were charged with illustrating an author's picture book, but without a manuscript to work with? In this confusing portrayal of that hypothetical situation, the illustrator makes the author a character in the story, depicting her in colorful acrylics as an Olive Oyl-ish personage, a padded stick figure with a carrot-like nose. The author, now trapped within the pages, becomes the rather annoyingly high-strung narrator, fretting as she witnesses what the illustrator is doing to her story: "She painted a duck. There are no ducks in this story. I never write about ducks." In the end, the author comes to realize that her original (lost) manuscript is much more boring than the illustrator's new creation that adorns her in comfortable new slippers and lets her fight dragons and travel to outer space. Unfortunately, multiple fonts at various angles, clunky photo-collage elements and a hard-to-track narrative render this offering more an awkward jumble than a playful, perspective-tweaking exploration of the dynamic bookmaking process. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823420490
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Kanninen has a Ph.D. in environmental economics. A Story with Pictures is her first picture book. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband and two boys.

Lynn Rowe Reed has illustrated numerous books for children, including Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver, which was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year. She lives in Indiana.

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