"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Flashlight: an illuminating book

shines the light on the world at night. 
The magic of an evening in the woods 
is illuminated by a child's flashlight beam. 

The forest comes alive within that beam: colors pop out, shapes take form, hidden treasures emerge. Even the moon gets involved in the act - throwing light on some evening bloomers. What is not illuminated waits to be revealed. Readers are able to peer into the darker recesses of the woods to discover hidden animals and marvel at the textures and shapes in the nighttime forest. 
Flashlight is a book that begs to be explored because on each reading of the pictures new details emerge, such as noticing that all the animals that the young child has wakened are now following along in the shadows. The plants are delicate and beautiful when stripped of their colors and shown in black and white. The trees are a celebration of texture and shape, each asking to be explored. The cut outs are like doorways into other worlds.
This quiet but stunning book can easily stand on its own, but as a teacher, I want to share it with as many students as I can. Here's what I am thinking, the students have a writing unit on perspective. I think this book would be a concrete way to talk about perspective and help the students understand the concept. I am then thinking that I can create a writing prompt where the students can focus in a flashlight beam to show the different perspectives. I'll share this when I create it. I might possibly read the book, then read a Goldilocks or Three Little Pigs or one of their own stories and write from a different perspective. I am also thinking that this activity can be paired with The Dark, written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by John Klassen.

~Other Resources~

Here is a link to Book trailers created by my 5th graders last year, including one for Inside Outside.

You can read about Flashlight on Goodreads.

I thoroughly enjoyed Lizi Boyd's previous book, Inside OutsideIt is one of those books that has to be revisited again and again. The students loved the detailed drawings and cut outs. During our first pass read aloud, the students asked to turn back a page and turn forward again and again as they watched the objects that the cut outs revealed.

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