Books Early Readers Features Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Saturday Reads The World In Books

[Saturday Reads] Going Through A Wall In The Middle Of A Philosophical/Political PictureBook

... in "The Wall In The Middle Of The Book" by Jon Agee.


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

I have been meaning to read this picturebook for a while now. It has been described as philosophical, political, timely. I am delighted to have found it on Overdrive, especially as it fits our current reading theme to a T.

The Wall In The Middle Of The Book (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written and Illustrated by Jon Agee
Published by Dial Books (2018)
ISBN: 0525555455 (ISBN13: 9780525555452). Borrowed from the NLB Singapore Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

In this clever picturebook, the gutter of the book was utilized so cheekily and – for all intents and purposes – given a role as that of the “wall” in the story.

In an age when political leaders speak of building walls, tightening borders, and exclusionary measures – this picturebook takes on a philosophical resonance. While of course it can be interpreted very differently by young readers, the multiple layers through which this deceptively-simple story can be enjoyed has earned it all the Goodreads-stars in the world, at least in my book. 🙂

The young, well-meaning Knight in this story is fairly convinced about what’s on the other side of that wall: a dangerous Ogre who is intent on doing him harm. When things get difficult on the Knight’s side of the wall, guess who scooped him out and saved him?

This is a brilliant story that makes the reader think about not just what is on the other side of the wall, but also the misconceptions and fears surrounding what the other side of the wall is like. Too often, ogres get demonized, when as can be seen in the image above, they can actually be fun-loving and pretty nice, and yes, they can be heroes too. The subtle revolution in this story is something that I would most likely think about for days to come. Definitely a must-buy!

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

0 comments on “[Saturday Reads] Going Through A Wall In The Middle Of A Philosophical/Political PictureBook

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: