What Makes a Good Childrens Book!
I learned a lot of interesting things from the two children books I read. Both were very different and clearly geared towards different age groups. Both stories implored similar techniques to convey a complicated story in a simple way for a younger audience. Additionally, both books also used many visual aids to keep the younger audience, and admittedly myself, interested in the story being told. However, there were many differences between the two styles that gave the reader different feelings.
The first book I read was called, “What Mr. Darwin Saw” by Mick Manning and Brita Grantrom. From the very beginning when I picked up the book I could tell it was meant for a younger audience because it is a big book with colorful pictures on the cover. Conversely, the Galileo book called, “Galileo” by Steele is a small, more novel-like feel, with a more scientific looking cover.
Now turning to read the book, there are also many differences between the two. Right from the beginning, the book about Darwin is more interesting ascetically because there are so many pictures and maps with almost the entire covered in color. These pictures mostly consist of simple drawings about Darwin’s “adventures” with pictures that simplify the scientific endeavors of Charles Darwin. The Galileo book has pictures that are more geared towards being informative such as maps, pictures of cities, and pieces of Italian art. These pictures are meant to challenge the reader to understand why they are put in the book and how the pictures connect to the reading. The last ascetic aspect I would like to draw attention to is found in, “What Mr. Darwin Saw”. In this book, the authors use speech bubbles to make a comic book side story through out. These speech bubbles are used to show important conversations or discoveries in Darwin’s life. I believe this is very useful for younger readers to be able to understand the action and flow of the conversations instead of just reading facts.
Finally there is also a difference in the writing style used in each book. The writing in “Galileo” is more fact based and far more academic than the writing found in, “What Mr. Darwin Saw”. The writing in, “What Mr. Darwin Saw” is more simple and used to tell a story at face value instead of really breaking down the significance of the events in Darwin’s life. Both stories are well told and easy to follow while using different techniques.
Although I do say that, “What Mr. Darwin Saw” is a simpler book, it does talk about the idea of evolution with a surprising amount of candor. There are even illustrations to show what evolution means; for example, the book has a series of pictures that shows the progression of an animal changing over time. This is a very good way to give a childrens book meaning and still keeping the book entertaining for all kids!