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

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mock Caldecott: Lenny & Lucy

The fourth graders read Lenny & Lucy as part of their Mock Caldecott unit.  Lenny & Lucy was created by the talented and dynamic duo of Philip and Erin Stead.

This beautifully-illustrated and emotionally-powerful book engages readers. There is much in the narrative and illustrations to hook their attention and spark conversations.

For our Mock Caldecott, we are, of course, carefully examining the illustrations.

Before the reader reaches the title page our story begins with an owl on a bare branch looking down at something the reader cannot see. One yellow leaf dangles from the branch and the yellow from the leaf is echoed in the owl's beak. 

I looked forward the opportunity to talk about the scene in the woods, which, with the absence of life, becomes even starker and more overwhelming. The students took turns sharing an adjective to describe the woods.
When exploring the wallpaper, the students expressed the uneasiness they felt, how the flowers were nice, but something is a little off, they are just too large and there are too many of them, as well as the fact that they are colorless. (This page spread feels very like Van Allsburg to me with its strong geometric lines being overpowered by lively organic ones.)
The way Peter peers around the window frame is a brilliant touch that reinforces his uneasiness. While there is uncertainty and it rings through the narrative and art, there is also hope which does the same. Harold in his lovely yellow shaggy fur is a solid and warm presence, as are Lenny and Lucy. (Would someone make me a plush version of these please!).
Erin Stead has included many small and beautiful details within each illustration, making the reader want to go back and explore each page.
Along with having conversations, the students shared their thinking on our Padlet:

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