You Can’t Be Too Careful! by Roger Mello; translated by Daniel Hahn; illustrated by Roger Mello. 2017, originally published 1999 in Brazil. Mixed Media. Published by Elsewhere Editions.
Brief Summary: “White rose is safely in her pen.” The gardener watches her. This story moves from one character connected to the next character with various consequences until the rose comes back into the tale. Now the story turns and repeats itself backwards and the characters have opposite things happen or with changed characteristics.
Comments: Very clever book. I wasn’t sure if I would remember what happened to each character as the story unfolded, but I did. This is a unique book that stands out for its imagination and unique illustrations. So full of color and interesting people. Mr. Mello has written over 100 books and is well-known in Brazil. I hope we see more of his books translated to English.
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Birdsong: A Story in Pictures by James Sturm; illustrated by James Sturm. 2016. Drawn with pen and brush in India ink and colored digitally
Brief summary: Two bad children are cruel to a turtle and a red bird. As they are chasing the poor little bird up the mountain, a wizard turns them into monkeys. They are caught and put in a circus. The two are released and run into the forest to live where the little red bird talks to them. This is not a happily-ever-after ending.
Comments: Stories without words. Good for predictions unit of study. Great explanation of the Japanese way of telling wordless stories–e-toki and kamishibai. Story with a moral. I plan to read this at the beginning of the year to teach about gaito kamishibi in my stories without words unit. This would be a good book to use at the beginning of the school year when reviewing the procedures and rules of the school to teach students that there are consequences for bad choices.