professornana (professornana) wrote,

asking the right questions

Pat Enciso's wonderful article on the recent Newbery is one that everyone working in the field should read. You can find it here:

At its heart, great works in children's literature should answer the big questions:

1. Who am I?
2. Why is the world like it is?
3. What is my place in the world?

When folks ask me about the difference between a book and a piece of literature, I point to questions like this. Kids need books, but they also need literature that causes them to ask questions about their lives and their world. Enciso's analysis of LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET provides a perfect example of how to approach a work of literature, especially one that seems very simple in part because it is a picture book.

Enciso demonstrates that there are layers upon layers to consider within the 32 pages of the Newbery winner. The next time someone asks how "deep: a 32 page picture book can be, suggest they read this article and this book.
Tags: analysis, newbery, picture books

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