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Voices in the Park
Contributor(s): Browne, Anthony

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ISBN: 078948191X     ISBN-13: 9780789481917
Publisher: Dk Pub
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: December 2001
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Annotation: The four seasons in a city park are represented by apes in human clothing: a rich, uptight woman in the fall; a sad, unemployed man in the winter; the woman's lonely boy in the spring; the man's joyful daughter in the summer. Each one sees the place and the others differently, yet together the voices tell a story. Full-color illustrations.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Gorilla; Fiction.
Parks; Fiction.
Dogs; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | New Experience
- Juvenile Fiction | Nature & The Natural World
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: BL2002005743
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 11.25" H x 9.50" W x 0.25" (0.45 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 29513
Reading Level: 2.8   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q29588
Reading Level: 2.9   Interest Level: Grades K-2   Point Value: 1.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Anthony Browne is the acclaimed author and illustrator of Gorilla (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal) The Night Shimmy and Zoo (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal.) The Shape Game was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 1999)
Using four points of view, Browne explicitly contrasts the meaning of a particular event to its four participants. A gorilla takes her son Charles and dog Victoria to the park, where Victoria plays with a mutt belonging to another gorilla, who's searching for a job, and where Charles makes friends with his daughter Smudge. Browne's expressive and elegantly structured paintings are full of his usual surreal asides in this handsome, provocative book. Copyright 1999 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1998 #6)
The play between perception and reality, whether literal or emotional, is Anthony Browne's most constant theme. Here, using four points of view, he explicitly contrasts the meaning of a particular event to its four participants. What happens is simple: a stuffy gorilla mother takes her son Charles and "pedigree Labrador," Victoria, to the park, where Victoria plays with a mutt belonging to another gorilla, who's hopelessly searching a newspaper for a job, and where Charles makes friends with his daughter Smudge. To the mother (whose voice is set in a traditional typeface), it's two unsavory encounters that she successfully nips in the bud. The father (a bold sans serif), bravely trying to ward off despair, focuses on the pleasure of his child and dog. Charles (a spindly, spineless typeface) describes playing with Smudge as respite from an over-protected existence. But it's Smudge (freely rendered hand-lettering) who comes closest to the truth: Charles's mother "was really angry, the silly twit," and "I thought [the boy] was kind of a wimp at first, but he's okay." Browne's expressive and elegantly structured paintings are full of his usual surreal asides: a different season for each retelling (beginning with an autumn when trees yawn and one bursts into flame in the background); the repetition of the shape of the mother's hat atop lampposts and pillars, as topiary and clouds; playful paintings and statuary; and many others. The social message is the more powerful for being implicit. Another handsome and provocative book from a master. joanna rudge long Copyright 1999 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1998 September)
K-Gr 5-A mother takes her son and their dog to the park, where she thinks about dinner and turns up her nose at the "frightful types." Meanwhile, an unemployed father sits on the same bench and searches the want ads while admiring his daughter's chatter and their dog's energy. The two kids, of course, find one another. In four short first-person narratives, each of the characters recounts the same outing from a different perspective and at a different emotional level. The mother is annoyed. The father is melancholy. The boy is bored and lonely, then hopeful. The girl is independent and outgoing, yet observant. The real "voices," however, are not found in the quiet, straightforward text, but in Browne's vibrant, super-realistic paintings in which trees are oddly shaped, footsteps turn to flower petals, Santa Claus begs for change, and people happen to be primates. Some of the illustrations appear in smaller squares while others are full bleeds so that even the margins become part of the narrative. Browne's fans should find this even more satisfying than Willy the Dreamer (Candlewick, 1998). Because readers will want to compare pages (did that building turn into a castle?) and tarry over every detail, this book is best suited to independent reading. Even prereaders will be intrigued by the way a simple visit to the park can literally be "seen" in so many different ways.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews
 
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