We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2018 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.
When I learned about this true story of a horse promoted to Marine Sergeant, I just know that it will fit our theme perfectly.
Written by Patricia McCormick Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
Published by Balzer + Bray (2017)
ISBN-10: 0062292595 (ISBN13: 9780062292599)
Literary Award: Texas Bluebonnet Award, 2018-2019
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library through inter-library loan. Book photos taken by me.
The US Marines are fighting in the Korean War, and were growing increasingly tired from hauling heavy ammunition uphill.
Enter this bedraggled sorrel mare with the huge appetite (from bread to oatmeal and scrambled eggs and washing it down with ice-cold Coca Cola) – and things changed radically for the Marines.
The story shows the remarkable transformation of Private Reckless who evidently won the hearts of the Marines; even more so, when she proved her mettle during battle.
While I was taken by the story, I was even more amazed by the overall design, typography, and how the text was juxtaposed with the illustrations. The seamlessness of it was just so artfully done, that I find myself gasping out loud as I turn the pages. Apart from the gorgeous images above, here are a few more, showing how the artist made full use of certain elements in the illustration to insert the text.
In the image above, the text is cleverly inserted in a card-shaped frame. The art really takes centre-stage throughout the narrative, notwithstanding the highly engaging way that Patricia McCormick has built up Private Reckless’ narrative.
The image above is another example of how masterfully the text is inserted into that official-looking clipboard, with check marks included. Even the way the Author’s Note and the list of References for additional information have been crafted is a thing of beauty, not to mention the endpapers and the Back Cover. Evidently, I am smitten by this book: truly a work of art. For teachers who wish to use this book in the classroom, here is a downloadable PDF guide containing Discussion Questions and possible Classroom Activities that can be done with students.
#LitWorld2018GB Update: United States Of America