10 March, 2008

postmodern picture books

Did anyone else see The Red Tree at Out of the Box in 2004?Brilliant, inspiring stuff! We met Shaun Tan there, and had a backstage tour. He was so patient with his young audiences as he explained his inspiration and illustrative processes. He's one of quite a few Aussies tantalising us with postmodernism in our picture books. There's so much debate around book week awards time because of the wide range of what's published in picture book form. But there's so much to discover, so many ways of creating and telling a story. Postmodern picture books can appeal to different age groups and to people with different reading abilities. They challenge readers' expectations with a mix of illustrative styles, unusual layout of text and pictures, intertextuality, intrusive narration and often, no closure. I love that there is such a variety of text forms to choose and to learn from. Rather than simply teaching writing using the linear narrative form, I like to see postmodern theories embraced so students learn other ways of seeing - those students will then go on to write and create outside of the box. I know that some teachers are using claymation and storyboarding (to name a few techniques) as part of the creative process. Go with it, so that publishers know pomo works commercially!
Here's a couple of lesson plans (read, write, think & carol hurst), and here's a short list of pomo picture books (lots of Aussies):
Troy Thompson’s radical prose folio / Gary Crew & Craig Smith
Grandad’s phase / Archimede Fusillo & Terry Denton
The Watertower / Gary Crew & Steven Woolman
Beneath the surface / Gary Crew & Steven Woolman
The three fishing Brothers Gruff / Ben Galbraith
Woolvs in the sitee / Margaret Wild & Anne Spudvilas
Do not open this book / Micheaela Muntean & Pascal Lemaitre
There’s a monster at the end of this book / Jon Stone & Mike Smollin
The Paw in The Purple Diamond / Natalie Jane Prior & Terry Denton
The Red Tree / Shaun Tan
Voices in the park / Anthony Browne
The rabbits / John Marsden & Shaun Tan
Zoom / Istvan Banyai
I hate my teddy bear / David McKee
For the love of Vincent / Brenda V. NortheastNow,

postmodern novels: The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall.
What a great time to be reading!

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