[Monday Reading] In Search Of Something Lost (Or Found) in Yankey’s “Bluebird” and Villeneuve’s “The Red Scarf”

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

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These two beautifully-illustrated and gorgeously-designed picturebooks show how creatures can sometimes go for a quest – either in search for something lost or returning something that has been found – perfect for our restlessness and refuge reading theme.


IMG_1326The Red Scarf

Written and Illustrated by: Anne Villeneuve
Published by: Tundra Books, 2010 ISBN: 0887769896 (ISBN13: 9780887769894) Book Award: Governor General’s Literary Awards – Children’s Illustration (French language) Winner.
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

There is really something about wordless picturebooks that appeal to me – add a carnival-esque element to it, and I am definitely sold. For Turpin, the taxi driver, it seemed just like “another gray day” – until of course his mysteriously-hooded passenger left his red scarf in Turpin’s cab:

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And that is when Turpin’s adventure (err.. mayhem) began. Clearly, a grey day this is not:

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In Turpin’s well-meaning intention to return the red scarf to its rightful owner (who apparently is the circus magician), he managed to find himself the center of the circus’ attraction – making the reader wonder whether everything was actually cleverly arranged by the magician.

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If you are into wordless picturebooks, this is definitely one that you should add to your list. Laugh-out-loud visual narrative, bold artwork, gorgeous typography and design. Definitely a keeper.


BluebirdIMG_1332

Written and Illustrated by: Lindsey Yankey
Published by: Simply Read Books, 2014 ISBN: 1927018331 (ISBN13: 9781927018330)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

The bluebird is excited to fly out from her nest one early morning when she realized that her friend, the wind, is missing.

“I’ve never flown without the wind,” she thought. “I’d better find my friend right away!” So she jumped down into the park to do just that.

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This is a delicately designed picturebook that shows this young bluebird’s journey as she gradually moves from one part of the park to the next – in search of the wind. I especially enjoyed this image of people drinking their tea and reading newspapers – no wind to ruffle and turn the pages, however:

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I am especially struck by how the mixed-media/collage art of Yankey never appeared too cluttered or too overwhelming – there is much space for the eyes to rest, and the flowing typography is beautiful.

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This is a lovely story that shows how oftentimes one’s journey happens to be the destination, without one realizing it.

  1. The Red Scarf reminds me of an adult book I read recently titled The Red Notebook, also a search, but romantic the way the author weaves the adventure. Thanks for Bluebird, too, Myra, looks lovely!

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  2. Such elegant picture books this week, lovely! I adore wordless picture books, I love the way they invite readers into the story and encourage them to create their own interpretations of what’s happening.

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  3. These are two beautiful books that I am happy to know about, thanks to your post! I like the way you shared both books, and appreciate the pictures. Thank you!

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  4. Thanks so much for the heads up about both of these books. I think I am going to have to make a concerted effort to read all the Governor General award winner’s I have missed.

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  5. Bluebird looks so beautiful. I haven’t read it yet and can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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  6. Great post! I love a good wordless picture book!

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