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"Whose line is it anyway?" : how students make sense of postmodern picture books with matefictive devices Edge-Partington, Cheryl Diane 2010-11

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HOW STUDENTS MAKE SENSE OF POSTMODERN PICTURE BOOKS WITHMETAFICTIVE DEVICES ByCHERYL DIANE EDGE-PARTINGTONDiploma in Teacher Librarianship The University o f  British Columbia, 1995 Professional Development Program Simon Fraser University, 1988 B.A. (French Literature and Linguistics) Simon Fraser University, 1987 A GRADUATING PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF EDUCATION  inTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Language and Literacy EducationWe accept this major paper as conforming“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?”................Dr. Marlene Asselin THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIANovember 2010 © C.D. EDGE-PARTINGTON, 2010Abstract“Literacy in the 21st Century means thinking critically, making sense o f a bombardment o f media sources, negotiating multiple digital literacies, and making choices about what to read and how to go about reading it.” (Anstey, 2002, p.447)Postmodern picture books can be classified as a sub-genre o f picture books in which the reader is not simply reading an author’s recount o f the story but by using metafictive devices such as: non-linearity, multiple narratives, indeterminacy, symbolic representation, interesting illustrative techniques and create design and layout, the reader is invited to co-create the text with the author. The interplay between text and image is very important and the reader is required to fill in the gaps in order to make sense o f the story. These books encourage students to think critically, require students to be active creators o f the story rather than passive observers.This study explores the responses o f a group o f grade 6 students to the postmodern picture book Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne, and the meaning-making strategies the readers employed to understand this story. I looked first, at the student’s reactions to the metafictive devices present in this book, and then I looked at how they employed meaning- making strategies to comprehend the story.Table of ContentsAbstract................................  iiTable of Contents.....................................................................................................................................iiiAcknowledgements................................................................................................................................... vIntroduction................................................................................................................................................ 1Purpose ...........................................................................................................................................1Question...........................................................................................................................................1Rationale..........................................................................................................................................1Literature Review ......................................................................................................................................2Postmodern Picture Books........................................................................................................ 3Metafiction and picture books................................................................................................. 5Classroom implications..............................................................................................................7Student responses to postmodern picture books.............................................................10Summary...................................................................................................................................... 12Methods...................................................................................................................................................... 12Research design..........................................................................................................................12Framework for analysis...........................................................................................................13Selection procedures................................................................................................................ 14Procedure..................................................................................................................................... 15Research site............................................................................................................................... 16Study participants..................................................................................................................... 17Data sources and collection....................................................................................................17Findings..................................................................................................................................Student responses to Voices in the Park .......................................................Cover.............................................................................................................First Voice.................................................................................................. .Second Voice.............................................................................................Third Voice.................................................................................................Fourth Voice...............................................................................................Student Responses to the metafictive devices encountered.....................Special features and organization.   ....................................................Multiple narratives/perspectives............................................................Symbolic representation, illustrative technique, layout and designIndeterminacy..............................................................................................Nonlinearity.................................................................................................Discussion and Implications.............................................................................................References..............................................................................................................................Appendix A: Annotated Bibliography o f Postmodern Picture Books.....................Table 1.....................................................................................................................................Table 2 ............................. ........................................................................................................20.20..21..22.26.28.30o -■>:>:>3334.35.39.42.42.44.45.1618VAcknowledgementsI would like to thank all those people who provided encouragement and support throughout my learning journey. First, I would like to thank my parents, Sherley and Vem and my sisters, Joanne and Laurel, for knowing that I could when I was sure that I couldn’t. To my friends whomade sure that it wasn’t all work and no play. To my colleagues and friends in the Delta cohort,\I thank you for contributing to such a wonderful community o f learners and for all o f  the laughs and support along this journey, and especially my friend Karen for visualizing. Thanks to all o f the wonderful literacy mentors from UBC along the way that shared their passion for literacy in so many ways. Special thanks to cohort advisor, Dr. Theresa Rogers, for believing in me and not letting me give up and to Dr. Marlene Asselin for her guidance. Finally, I would like to thank my husband, Dave, for all his love and support and my wonderful children, Olivia and Adam for letting me have quiet time to work when it would have been more fun to play. I ’m all yours now!SECTION 1: Introduction PurposeThe purpose o f my study is to gain an understanding o f how strong readers navigate postmodern picture books that employ metafictive devices. Specifically, my goal is to understand how these students respond when they encounter metafictive devices, and consequently how they engage in meaning-making strategies. This information will then allow me to plan meaningful instructional activities for all students.QuestionI worked with a small group of grade six students to find out: first, how they react to the metafictive devices in the picture book Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne and second, how they employed meaning-making strategies to comprehend the story.RationaleI am interested in this topic and question for several reasons. There is much research on reader response and comprehension strategies in traditional genres but very little in the area of postmodern picture books. This sub-genre has gained much popularity in the past 20 years and merits investigation. I am very interested in how children make sense o f text and, as a classroom teacher, I am always looking for ways to open doors to comprehension and critical thinking for my students. As our students engage in more sophisticated texts, it is our responsibility to provide them with the strategies necessary to access texts that demand critical thinking. Lastly, I love children’s literature. I became familiar with the sub-genre o f postmodern picture books as I trained to be a teacher librarian and I was looking to find a research project that could combine my interest in comprehension strategies and my love of picture books.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 1WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 2SECTION 2: Literature ReviewHow do you feel when you leave what is familiar to you and head into the unknown? Sometimes these experiences are welcomed; sometimes they are intimidating, frustrating or unwelcome. Leaving behind all that we know and heading into uncharted territory is exactly what the reader is forced to do as they enter the genre o f the postmodern picture book. Children are often immersed in a type o f familiar, linear narrative that allows the reader to create a schema for the structure of stories. Ask anyone who has graduated from high school and they will use terms such as: introduction, plot, rising action, denouement, solution and conclusion.Throughout our lives, for the most part, we have left the storytelling up to the author. We enjoyed picture books that had lovely images that helped to support our understanding o f the text. We had much loved characters whose adventures kept us entertained and we were satisfied in the end when they ‘lived happily ever after/ Those days are over! Today A young people are products o f the digital era. They need their entertainment to be interactive and engaging. I am not claiming that they don’t like to curl up with a good book and be "swept away, but postmodern picture books offer the reader the opportunity to engage and interact with stories like never before.My purpose is not to dissuade the reader from choosing from the incredibly rich and diverse selection o f traditional narrative picture books available today, but instead to consider also choosing from a sub-genre o f picture books that offers the reader the opportunity to “co- create” the story along with the author. This sub-genre o f picture books has become increasingly more popular in the past 20 years. In fact, there has been a postmodern picture book represented as either a winner or honor book in the list o f Caldecott winners for the past two decades, and not only in North America. As noted by Nikolajeva and Scott (2002), the prevalence o f this sub-genre among book winners has been represented by the awarding o f the Kate Greenaway Award in Great Britain as well as other awards throughout the world.I will start my review by explaining the genre o f the postmodern picture book and how it is unique. I will then discuss how students react when they encounter these metafictive devices, and lastly I will address the kinds o f strategies students use to make meaning.Postmodern picture booksAs I began my research I knew I was delving into unfamiliar territory. I was developing an entirely new vocabulary and a new way o f thinking about picture books. I, like many others o f  my generation grew up with a clear understanding o f typical narrative structure. I can clearly visualize the diagram denoting the beginning, middle and end o f the story, the rising action and the neat and tidy solution. The postmodern picture book does not fit this image. I first needed to know what the term “postmodern” meant. According to Bette Goldstone (2002), Postmodernism  is a term that describes theoretical and fundamental changes in attitudes, styles, and academic disciplines that emerged in Western culture after World War II. It rejects canons and universal truths o f earlier 20th century movements, philosophies, and artistic traditions, and in their place inserts anarchy, fragmentation, chance, play, and anti-authoritarianism.The key characteristics o f postmodern picture books, according to Driggs, Wolfenbarger and Sipe (2007) include non-linearity, self-referential text, a sarcastic or self-mocking tone, and an anti-authoritarian stance. Goldstone (2004) argues that non-linearity is the most common characteristic found in postmodern picture books. According to Driggs, Wolfenbarger and Sipe (2007), “Non-linearity suggests that the reader moves backward and forward through the text and that there may be multiple stories being told.” (p.275) For example, in David W iesner s The Three Pigs, the story begins in the traditional fashion, “Once upon a time,” but very soon“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 3thereafter loses its linearity as the pigs step out o f the story into a Mother Goose rhyme, into a fantasy tale about dragons, eventually ending up back in the story o f the three little pigs. Voices in the Park, by Anthony Browne, is a brilliant example o f both non-linearity and multiple narratives. In Browne’s story a single event, a visit to the park, is being described from four different perspectives or points o f view. The use o f different fonts to represent the tone and mood o f each o f the characters is very effective in allowing the reader to make inferences about the type o f people describing the same event. David Macaulay’s Caldecott winning book, Black and White, brilliantly traces four seemingly very different events, which the reader slowly begins to realize, may be related after all. The story is told using four distinct rectangular panels, two per page. There is a continuity o f story in each panel but they do not seem to be interrelated.The reader is confused at first, not knowing even how to tackle the reading o f the book: Should it be read as four different stories which requires the reader to start at the beginning and follow a single panel until the end o f the book? Should you read each page from left to right, from beginning to end? Should you follow all four panels on each page from beginning to end and try and connect all o f the stories? Is there a right or a wrong way to read this book?Postmodern picture books, contends Goldstone (2004), may display an unusual degree o f playfulness, bordering on the absurd with unusual twists and turns. Irony slips into the books in both tone and contradictory story lines. These books can be self-referential, exposing the artistic act o f the book’s creation. These picture books also invite coauthoring—the power o f telling the story is shared between the author and the young reader.Metafiction and picturebooksWhile reviewing the literature, I noticed another term was frequently used and it is important to define this term and distinguish it from postmodern. Metafiction and metafictive“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?" 4devices were frequently referred to. Waugh, as cited in Pantaleo (2004), defines metafiction as fictional writing which self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artefact in order to pose questions about the relationship between fiction and reality. One element common to the discussions o f metafiction is its self-reflexiveness and self- consciousness; metafictive texts draw attention to their status as fiction and text through the use o f a number o f devices or techniques (Pantaleo, 2004).In picture books, metafictive devices can be used with both verbal and visual text. Sometimes the pictures serve to support the text and other times the illustrations even contradict the text, forcing the reader to construct the story themselves. I noticed in the Library o f Congress cataloging information at the back o f David Macaulay’s Black and White, the summary reads, “Four brief “stories” about parents, trains, and cows, or is it really all one story?” Macaulay recommends careful inspection o f words and picture to both minimize and enhance confusion. “Metafictive devices distance the readers from the texts, draw their attention to the artifice of fiction, and position them in a more interactive and interpretive role as readers.” (Meeks cited in Pantaleo, 2004, p.212). “Black and White demonstrates this again with its’ warning on the title page that reads, “This book appears to contain a number o f stories that do not necessarily occur at the same time. Then again, it may contain only one story. In any event, careful inspection of both words and pictures is recommended.” Trites suggests, “The text, in Black and White. couches its voice very carefully in the passive so as not to intrude on the reader’s agency:Neither the author nor the text but the reader must construct the narrative” (p.233).In summary, postmodern picture books are a sub-genre o f picture books (Goldstone, 2004), which employ metafictive devices. These books force the reader to interact actively with the story and to co-create the narrative. No single reader will create the same story, nor will the“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 5reader necessarily create the same story with each reading. Sipe, as cited in Goldstone (2004) sums it up nicely when he says,“There are two fundamental ways to gain pleasure from the reading experience. In traditional stories, the text offers opportunities to explore and comprehend our world, either by carefully examining the world we know or offering vicarious experiences o f unknown places, people, and events. This helps to order and stabilize the chaotic human condition. “A second pleasure o f reading occurs when the story upsets, unsettles, or disturbs one’s expectations” (p.203).This is what the postmodern picture book does. “Rather than providing order, these books show the quixotic nature o f the world. Then they reassure the young reader that this uncertainty can be overcome and that the world is a wondrous and surprising place” (Goldstone, 2004, p.203). Classroom implicationsChildren’s literature has changed significantly since the early part o f the twentieth century. Early texts were designed to be didactic in nature and to teach children moral lessons. Serafim (2005) points out that “ ...texts were designed to impart morals and traditional values to multicultural literature intended to expose readers to the variety o f cultures and ideas throughout the world, this inclusion o f children’s literature in the elementary classroom has expanded exponentially.” (p.49) The literature found in many classrooms today has evolved from books that are predictable and repetitive to authentic literature aimed at instilling a love o f reading.With the expansion o f the publishing world and the growth o f picture book popularity there is no excuse not to have a vast and varied collection in all classrooms. Non-fiction books using attractive and user-friendly text features have become a fixture in classrooms as well. These books, as well as the wonderful narrative stories o f past and present have taken books for“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 6children to a whole new level o f excitement. But there is a new kid in town. Over the past 15-20 years a new sub-genre has emerged. The postmodern picture book is here and this sub-genre has opened up a whole world o f  new ideas in the field o f children’s literature. No longer is the reader a passive observer, but now the reader is an active creator o f the story. This type o f story has gained enormous popularity, in part, because it has made reading fun. The reader is given permission to make meaning and create storylines that may even vary with each subsequent reading.The authors and illustrators o f these books are very purposeful in their execution o f a story that creates opportunities for interaction with the text and illustration. The illustrations, however, can help but sometimes hinder the meaning. The main objective is to make the reader think and wonder and, most importantly, to engage and co-create the story. It is no coincidence, I would think, that the majority o f these books are written and illustrated by the same person. The author/illustrator cannot be separated any more than the text/illustrations can be separated.These books are meant to be read, re-read and savoured like a smorgasbord o f ideas, images and imagination. That being said, what place do these books have in our classrooms and how can they make our students better, more proficient readers?Like anything new, the learning curve can be steep. Children who are introduced to a new type o f literary form need the appropriate vocabulary and foundational understanding o f story to be able to discuss what they are reading. Most o f our students come to us with a range o f understanding o f the fictional narrative. They are generally able to predict what will happen based on the title and the cover, they are able to identify characters, the problems they encounter, the solutions they employ and the ultimate ending o f the story. More recently, with the infusion o f more non-fiction reading material embedded in the language arts program, students have had“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 7to learn a new set o f rules and structures. They have had to learn strategies for reading a new kind o f text and a new lexicon to discuss this type o f text.The postmodern picture book asks the reader to navigate a new sea o f understanding in order to be able to understand and discuss what is being read. Teachers should be aware o f the structural changes found in postmodern picture books and then alert students to the new codes and signals (Goldstone, 2002). As Pantaleo (2004) asserts, “Postmodern texts with metafictive devices can provide the kinds o f  reading experiences that develop readers’ abilities to critically analyze, construct, and deconstruct an array o f  texts and representational forms that incorporate range o f linguistic, discursive, and semiotic systems” (p. 17).In today’s ever-growing media world, students are expected to process ideas and images simultaneously. They are inundated with visual images, websites, logos, billboards, and video clips. Today’s reader needs to be able to process images and construct meaning in a more sophisticated manner than ever before. They need to make choices about what to read and particularly how to go about reading it. Anstey (2002) maintains that postmodern picture books are an excellent way to focus on many o f the skills needed for new literacies, as these books are characterized by non-linearity and interactivity and children are drawn to the interactive nature o f this genre. Labbo (2004) claims, “Making sense o f digital content is a postmodern endeavor requiring readers to strategically navigate through the multiple, dynamic, nonlinear, and hypertextual pathways available on the Internet” (p.202). Anstey (2002) confirms this theory stating, “Literacy in the 21st century means thinking critically, making sense o f a bombardment o f media sources, negotiating multiple digital literacies, and making choices about what to read and how to go about reading it” (p.447).“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?”WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 9How students respond to postmodern picture booksMuch research has been conducted on reading strategies, particularly what strategies proficient readers employ in order to comprehend what they are reading. P. David Pearson, amongst other researchers, has made a significant contribution to this field o f  research; however these strategies do not help the reader o f the postmodern picture book, as this genre requires an additional set o f strategies. Pantaleo (2004) points out that there is a dearth o f research focusing on readers’ response to postmodern literature, in particular postmodern picture books. She highlights that although researchers have written about postmodern texts and metafiction, that there is a lack o f  research that has actually looked at students’ understandings o f and responses to these books.One such study, however, conducted by Dr. Frank Serafini (2005), explored three aspects o f  reader response that included: students’ initial response to picture books that contained metafictive devices or postmodern elements, the challenges these picture books presented for readers, and how discussion helped readers work through their challenges. The study was conducted in an intermediate multi-age classroom using the book, Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne. Although other texts were introduced later in the unit o f study, Browne’s book was used as the “cornerstone” o f the unit. In his study Serafini worked with a group o f twenty 8-12 year olds who had been in a multiage classroom setting for one, two, or three years. They were comfortable with the workshop approach to reading instruction, which the teacher has been using for several years. Students were read aloud to every day and literature was discussed as a whole class and in small groups. The teacher has worked hard to create an environment that was safe and respectful to her students. Serafini’s data suggested that students were attending to threeaspects o f postmodern picture books in their discussion o f Voices in the Park to a greater degree than other aspects: the non-linear structure, the images included in the illustrations and their possible symbolic meaning, and the relationship or interplay between the illustrations and the written text.One o f the most prevalent metafictive devices used in postmodern picture books is the distortion or disruption o f time (Pantaleo, 2004). Voices in the Park is told sequentially in four different voices, but these voices are describing an event that took place simultaneously. A different font represents each voice and the images, illustrations and story line work in harmony to create the mood and tone, helping the reader to gain an understanding, or moreover create an understanding o f a particular character.Student reaction to this first reading was noted when the teacher asked the group if  they noticed anything particular about the story. Many o f the students in Serafini’s study thought it was “weird” and that there wasn’t much going on. Another concern was that it took a while to figure out the sequence and to realize that they went back to the beginning with each retelling. The abrupt ending disturbed several students. They couldn’t understand why it didn’t have the “usual” ending. It is clear that this structure and sequence left many readers feeling unsatisfied.Serafini (2005) noted that students talked about how the text and the images represented more than just the literal text. He concludes that recognizing and understanding symbols is an important part o f being a reader and states that “if  readers are not allowed to experience and discuss symbolic representations while in elementary school, they will have difficulty analyzing the symbols represented in the poetry and novels they will encounter in secondary education.”“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 10SummaryAs educators, is it not our responsibility to prepare our students to be successful negotiators o f meaning through print and images? Reading in school has to be connected to the kinds o f reading that students are doing outside o f school. New literacies require a different set o f  skills from readers that are outside the boundaries o f traditional linear text. Preparing students to deal with the new texts they will encounter in their daily lives today requires teachers to present their students with new and challenging material. Postmodern picture books are an excellent resource for today’s changing and evolving reader, and by gaining an understanding o f how strong readers react to these texts and how they engage in meaning-making strategies, this will help me plan instruction that will make these sophisticated texts accessible to all readers. Therefore, I decided to plan a research study to explore how intermediate students respond to postmodern picture books with metafictive devices and how they use meaning-making strategies to comprehend these texts.SECTION 3: Methods Research designThe goal o f  this study was to observe how strong readers reacted to metafictive devices they encountered when reading Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne, and to identify the meaning-making strategies they employed to comprehend this text. My goal was to gain insight on these strategies, in order to plan instruction for all o f my students, to enable them to read this genre o f literature with greater skill and confidence. My research questions were, “How do students respond to postmodern picture books with metafictive devices?” and “What meaning- making strategies do good readers use in order to comprehend books which contain metafictive devices?”“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 11In order to answer this question, I chose to do a qualitative study. I used, Serafini’s (2005) Voices in the Park, Voices in the Classroom: Readers Responding to Postmodern Picture books, and Pantaleo’s (2004) Young children interpret the metafictive in Anthony B rowne’s Voices in the Park and Swaggerty’s (2009), “That ju s t really knocks me o u t”: Fourth grade students navigate postmodern picture books to help me form the framework for my analysis and my research methods design.Framework for AnalysisI chose to use the think-aloud strategy in the individual sessions, also known as the verbal protocol analysis (Afflerbach & Johnston, 1984) and I based my choice on the research findings o f  Pearson and Dole (1987) who suggest that “careful observation o f expert readers can produce insight about specific strategies that they draw upon as they read, which can inform teachers about how to support other students” (as cited in Swaggerty, 2009).I also relied on work in reader-response theory. The theoretical work o f Louise Rosenblatt (1978) describes reading as a “transaction” between text, image, and reader. Rosenblatt (cited in Serafini, 2005) suggests, “a better understanding o f how children learn to mean in specific contexts should yield signals for those involved in all aspects o f reading, especially research on response to literature and the teaching o f literature" (p.41). Pantaleo (2004) posits that picture books have always required readers to fill in gaps and generate predictions and connections on multiple levels as they move back and forth between text and illustrations.In structuring the group discussion sessions, I drew on the research of Vygotsky’s (1978) theory o f social constructivism, which implies that learning is social in nature and that learning“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 12takes place through the interaction with others. Social constructivists see children as possessing an active role (in meaning-making) rather than being passive receivers o f knowledge.Selection proceduresI worked with a group o f grade 6 students French Immersion students who were selected based on their reading ability, their willingness to tolerate ambiguity and persevere with books that were challenging to understand, and their enthusiasm tor discussing their ideas about books and stories and whose teachers felt they would benefit from an extra challenge outside of the regular classroom program. I knew all ot these students personally as I am a teacher in this school and had taught 3 o f the five students in Grade two. I made it clear that participation in this study was completely voluntary and that refusal to participate would in no way penalize the student’s standing in their classroom or have any other adverse effects. I did not exclude any participants who granted permission and I chose French Immersion students, as that was the program in which I was teaching, and I had familiarity with these students and a good working relationship with their classroom teachers. My purpose was not to compare French Immersion students to students enrolled in the regular English program, as I am certain that many of the English program students would have met the selection criteria.ProcedureEach student was asked to read two books, Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne and Black and White by David Macaulay. For the purposes of this paper I am focusing on one book, Voices in the Park. I also asked each participant to keep notes in a small journal notebook and to participate in a blog set up specifically for this study. I met with the whole group initially for a 45-minute group session. My goal for this first session was twofold. Firstly, I wanted the students to fully understand the procedure we would follow and for them to have the opportunity“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 1 ->to ask any questions they may have had. Secondly, I modeled the "think-aloud' strategy that I would be using with the students, when we met individually and as a group so they were clear on my expectations. Each participant was given a journal for note keeping, the blog address and instructions (glued in the front cover o f the journal) and a schedule of meeting times. I made arrangements to meet with each student individually, in order to conduct the think aloud session.The meetings took place during the regular class silent reading period. At the initial information meeting I explained the project and distributed consent and assent forms and explained to the participants that it was his/her responsibility to complete any work he/she missed in class during the sessions. Each individual session lasted approximately 30 minutes. During each individual session, the student read the book to me and using the think-aloud strategy, explained their thinking. No prompts were provided, I simply asked the participant to tell me what they perceived was going on in the story. After completing the reading, we discussed his/her understanding o f the story. Each child was provided with a copy of the book to take away alter the session so they were able to write a written reflection in the journal provided for them, if they chose. All sessions were audio taped. I followed this same procedure for all students. After completing an individual session with all participants, we met as a group to discuss our reflections. This group session took place after school and lasted approximately 40- 45 minutes. This session was also audio taped.Total contact time per student for this part of the study was 90 minutes o f after school time (2x45 minute sessions) and one 30 minute in school session (one-on-one with the researcher), for a total o f 2 hours o f contact time per participant for this part of the study.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 14WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 15Table 1Student Contact HoursType of session Time of session Duration of sessionInitial group meeting After school 45 minutesIndividual session to discuss Voices in the ParkDuring reading period 30 minutes (per student)Group session to discuss Voices in the ParkAfter school 45 minutesResearch siteThe research was conducted at a dual track (English and French Immersion) elementary school (K-7) located in suburban Vancouver. I worked with five grade 6 French Immersion students from two different classes. I am a teacher at this school, however these students werenot currently enrolled in my class.The school is located in a suburb of Vancouver o f approximately 100,000 residents. The community is divided into three distinct geographical areas, two in the south end and one in the north end. The north end would be considered to be the most ethnically and economically diverse, however this school would be considered to be located in the most affluent (middle to upper middle class) part o f this suburb.Study ParticipantsThe participants were all enrolled in Grade 6, and were 11 or 12 years o f age. All o f the students were competent English speakers. One child was tri-lingual, speaking Japanese, English, and French. Another student spoke Mandarin at home, and English and French at school. The other three participants spoke English at home and English and French at school.O f the five students, three were female and two were male. All students came from homes were both parents were present and all parents held a minimum o f high school completion. Students were selected based on their reading ability, their willingness to tolerate ambiguity and persevere with books that were challenging to understand, and their enthusiasm for discussing their ideas about books and stories. All students chose their own pseudonyms.Data sources and collectionAs researcher, I kept field notes, and a reflective journal. I audio-taped both the individual think aloud sessions, as well as the group discussions. Finally, I collected student journal entries and blog entries.Field NotesMost o f the data I collected came from the transcribed audio-taped think aloud sessions. The field notes were generally observations that I made about the kinds o f questions I asked during these sessions, ideas for expanding student responses and ideas for things to ask in the whole group sessions.Reflective journalI used this journal to keep track o f quotes and big ideas from articles I read. I would refer to these notes after meeting with each student to ensure I was focusing on the important ideas and issues.Audio taped transcriptsThe content o f the audiotape was transcribed verbatim after the first individual and group session. As I was using the think-aloud strategy, I was very cognizant o f the fact that during these sessions my role was as observer. I would ask some questions if necessary or I would ask“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 16for clarification to obtain clearer responses, but my purpose was to allow the students to do the talking, therefore I tried to interfere as little as possible.Student journals and blog entriesStudents also responded to their reading in a notebook that I supplied for the project and on a blog that was set up for the duration o f the project. It is important to note that the written components o f the project yielded little insight for me for two reasons. First, the notebook was optional and only two o f the five participants keep any notes. Those notes kept were a list o f things that they had noticed when rereading the book, but those observations were shared with the group during the collective discussion. Second, the blog, which I still believe to be an excellent tool for giving children a voice and vehicle to discuss their reading, did have a few comments on it, but I did not allow the students enough turnaround time to get parental consent, for some to obtain an email account to blog responses. This was a weakness in the study design but, as the blog and student notebooks were not my primary sources o f data, the results were not affected too greatly.Data analysisAfter listening to and transcribing the individual and group sessions for Voices in the Park. I could see a number o f trends emerging. 1 began by identifying several categories o f metafictive devices that were present in Voices in the Park, and then I noted the references that the students made to each o f these devices as they read the book. I then analyzed the way in which students worked to comprehend the text when they encountered these devices. The devices I have identified are multiple narratives, symbolic representation, illustrative technique, design and layout, indeterminacy and non-linearity. Although the literature refers to others the above-mentioned devices were the ones that came up most frequently.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 17“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 18Figure 2Metafictive Devices and Frequency o f  ResponsesMetafictive devices Number of references made by students by deviceMultiple Narratives 15Symbolic Representation 20Illustrative Technique 9Design and Layout 11Indeterminacy 19Non-linearity 30SECTION 4: FINDINGSIn this section I begin with a description o f the picture book Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne, I then describe the students’ responses to the book, followed by an analysis o f the meaning-making strategies they employed when they encountered metafictive devices. In order to recreate the student’s experience o f the think-aloud as much as possible for the reader, I will present the findings starting at the beginning o f the book and progressing in order through the story.Student Responses to Voices in the ParkA Walk in the Park, written in 1977, introduces the characters o f Mrs. Smythe, her son Charles, their dog Victoria, Mr. Smith, his daughter Smudge, and their dog Albert as their visit to the park. This prequel to Voices in the Park tells the same story o f adults divided by class, children putting prejudice aside and forging a friendship and their dogs that play with reckless abandon. Twenty years later Browne decided to revisit these rich and multi-dimensionalcharacters in Browne’s 1998 book Voices in the Park he adds a polyphonic narrative allowing the reader to experience the trip to the park from each character’s perspective.Voices in the Park offers four different characters’ views o f a single event, a visit to the park with the family dog. A bossy gorilla mother, her cautious and oppressed son, a depressed gorilla father and his hopeful, optimistic daughter, each offer up their account o f the visit to the park. The illustrations are reflective o f each characters outlook on life through changes in perspective, colour, and light. Each character tells their version o f the same event depicted by a different season to reflect the character’s mood. The type font also changes to capture each character’s personality and outlook. Browne fills his pages with such cultural icons as, the Mona Lisa, Mary Poppins, King Kong, Santa Claus, Magritte’s hat, Munch’s Scream as well as many famous sculptures.CoverThe cover of Voices in the Park is simple, bright and appealing. The cover image fills the entire 9x10 inch paperback. The title is written in white letters with the word “Voices” displayed in a large and varied font, while “in the park” appears in smaller block letters underneath. This white title is superimposed onto a grove o f trees, arranged in a linear form to draw the reader into the image. At the end o f the corridor o f trees we see two “monkey” children facing one another. The boy giving the girl a red flower and two dogs are playing on the grass on the right hand side o f the page. Browne’s use of greens and yellows create a beautiful and inviting warmth to draw the reader in but the dark canopy o f leaves, packed tightly together, keep the light out and foreshadow the dark cloud that covers some o f the characters we will meet.I began by asking them to look at the cover and to predict what the book might be about.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 19Luna: I ’m wondering why there are monkeys and dogs? It says, Voices in the Park, so I  see why there is a bench on the back.Heidi: Looks like leaves but could be something else. Looks like a normal book but they are monkeys.Antonio: These people are freaky. They look like monkeys.Shayla: Those look like monkeys to me and dogs playing and the leaves look a bit purple  which is weird and the background is green and yellow, maybe it is ju s t the sun coming through.Bob: Weird Monkeys.Clearly each participant has focused in on the fact that the characters are chimpanzees, although they go back and forth between chimpanzees and gorillas as they move through the book. Only one student looked at the back o f the book to notice the bench.First voiceFirst voice begins with a close up image o f a house and in the bottom right hand corner there is a female gorilla, a boy gorilla (obscured by the female), and a dog on a leash, being walked by the female and the boy. What is interesting is that if  you were to only focus on the image here, you would think that the house should feature prominently in the story and the characters could simply be incidental, however this is not the case. Perhaps this is intentional to show the orderly and sterile home environment o f these characters, or perhaps this is Browne’s attempt to illustrate the female’s misplaced priorities, or both or neither. This is the beauty of Browne’s work. The correct interpretation is not what is necessarily important but rather the reader’s process in drawing these conclusions.On the first two-page spread the image alone does not provide much insight into to mother’s personality. She is taking the leash off o f Victoria, there appears to be a bank robber and a person wearing a crown in the background, which do not help to clarify the meaning. The“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 20reader does see the face o f Albert (sniffing near pedigree Victoria’s bottom) but there is no particular look o f censure on the part o f the mother. When you read the two sentences, which accompanies this text, however, you get a very different impression. The mother uses words such as, “scruffy mongrel” and “horrible thing” to describe Albert, the mongrel.The next page shows Charles and his mother on the park bench. You immediately get a feel for the tense relationship that exists between these two characters from their body language. The mother is scowling, sitting very upright, hands intertwined, and her body turned slightly to the left. Charles is sitting near his mother but not too close, he has his arms crossed and is looking in the opposite direction. At first glance you think they may be arguing or ignoring each other but on the far left you see a glimpse o f someone else sitting on the bench, who you later discover is Smudge and her father. The text here is disturbing as you begin to feel that the relationship between mother and son is so untenable that she is treating Charles with less love and respect than she shows for Victoria as she says to her son, “Sit,” I said to Charles: “Here.”On the next two pages, the mother realizes that her son is no longer sitting next to her on the bench, as she is lost in her reverie o f dinnertime meal planning. What is interesting here is the image now shows the whole bench. We see that Smudge’s father is sitting on the opposite end o f the bench reading a newspaper. This image is a very powerful one as it clearly illustrates the theme o f class distinction. There is a lamppost that serves as a very clear divider, separating the image into thirds where the wealthy mother commands two thirds o f the neatly pristine image, while the father is left with the remaining third. His third is shared with the trash bin, debris on the ground, and mud footprints left by his boots. The mother’s shadow is projected on the ground and her hat cast a wolf shaped shadow onto the father’s side o f the bench. With careful inspection the reader can see the open mouth o f Munch’s Scream is superimposed on the“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 21trees. This image is duplicated on the right hand page as a close-up o f the mother calling for her son.Shayla: “She is shouting so loud the trees are moving. ”Bob: “ You see her shouting an its so loud you wonder is she is shouting so loud that itmoves the trees.Turning the page the reader discovers the two children in the same image that is on the cover o f the book, without the flower and the scrub at the end. The mother yells, “Charles, come here. At once!” “And come here please, Victoria.” This text, illustrates again the difficult relationship that exists between Charles and his mother. The right hand page is a full-page image that leaves the reader asking many questions. Why is the tree on fire? Why is there a trail o f  leaves following them? The reader is left to ponder many things, but the way that Charles is obscured by his mother, yet the dog is so prominent leaves no doubt about the difficult mother- son relationship that exists.Most o f the comments made by the students in the “first voice” section centered on the zoomorphic characters. They all tried to figure out why gorillas would be taking a dog for a walk. Luna, Heidi, Shayla and Bob began to question the text and the images together, albeit in different ways, while Antonio stayed mainly focused on the images.Luna: It's  different than a normal book. I think it is kind o f weird that the woman istreating her child like a dog. “Sit. ”Luna commented on the difference between this book and a “normal book” but does not elaborate on the difference at this point. She does, however, begin to notice the tenuous relationship between the mother and son. She continues to read first voice but goes back to explaining what she sees in the images.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 22Heidi, on the other hand, comments on the narrative as she tries to figure out who is speaking to whom.Heidi: I  think it would he an adult talking because she says, “and Charles, our son. ”Maybe she is talking to someone else, like the story.This is interesting as Heidi is not sure if  the mother is speaking to the reader, or to another character. She does not question the narrative any more at this point but continues on to describe what she sees in the images. When she gets to the image o f the mother yelling for Charles, she notices as she yells the leaves are being blown off the trees.Heidi: It looks like the trees are screaming or something. It seems like when she is getting distressful and things, the weather seems to get darker and darker and the trees are blowing.Others go through the first voice section and for the most part are caught up in the naming o f things that they see in the images. Shayla, however, begins to question what is happening by trying to figure out what kind o f reality exists in the story.Shayla: Maybe i t ’s like an internal animal world? That's strange. The picture is goingo ff  the page (referring to the first full panel image). So that is the mongrel dog and theother dog and the monkey kids.By the end o f the first voice section, other than in the instances mentioned, most o f the student attention appears to be focused on the images. Although some have begun to use the text to support the visual information, most are intrigued with the “strange” and “weird” details they see and are not necessarily focused on trying to figure out what is going on.Second voiceThis section is from the point o f view o f the unemployed and depressed father o f Smudge (the happy optimistic girl). It begins with him in an armchair, wearing grubby overalls and looking dejected.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 23The next full-page image is where he and Smudge take their dog, Albert for a walk.They walk along a dirty, depressing street where they see two paintings, whose characters, the Mona Lisa and a prince are seemingly crying onto the street and a gorilla dressed in a Santa suit begging for money with a sign that reads, “Wife and millions o f kids to support.” None o f the students pick up on the irony here. The sky is Heidi coloured and blends into the wall colour, the barbed wire fence on top o f the wall shades the two bleak apartment buildings in the background and the broken glass on the top o f the wall add to the ominous tone o f the full panel.The next two pages show the father letting Albert off o f his leash. Browne uses only greens, blues and black to create a foreboding feel. Although it is daytime, one gets the impression that there is a storm brewing and that the clouds will soon open up. The trees all look dead, there is a person walking with an umbrella and a Mary Poppins character is flying in the background. On the full panel image, where the two dogs are chasing each other, Browne uses a white streak to illustrate speed and playfulness but here he begins to trick the reader as on closer inspection you can see that the tree trunks are morphing into elephant legs and trunks.On the last two-page spread o f second voice, you see the father reading a newspaper called the “Ad Scene,” presumably looking for work. There is a reproduction o f Munch’s Scream on the front page posing as a newspaper photo and the background still appears bleak and colourless, other than the dogs chasing each other. The right hand page o f the spread was a favorite among the students. It is the same full-page panel o f the street scene only this time as the father, Smudge and Albert head home, and life has done a complete 180-degree turn. The colours are bright, vibrant and hopeful. Santa, Mona Lisa and the prince are dancing, the street is clean, and the apartments are lit up with multicoloured windows o f different shapes. King Kong is flexing his muscles on top o f the buildings, the once dead looking and bleak trees are“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 24now twinkling with lights, the barbed wire and broken glass have disappeared and in place o f the regular lamp post is a crocus shaped light which has burst through the ground. One can infer from the reverse in direction, the evening sky and the use o f colour to convey mood that the father has found some cheer in his sullen day by spending time with his happy, upbeat daughter Smudge.When the students started to read second voice they were still focused on the zoomorphism but now they were beginning to question the narrative a little more.Luna: Oh, I  guess it is different perspectives.Antonio: Oh, I  think it is like the other view because I  saw this gorilla with the hat and  reading the newspaper, sitting beside the mom on the bench in the other story and tha t’s his dog and tha t’s their dog.Shayla: Hey, isn I that the girl that was on the other page with the boy and the h a lf man/half gorilla? I t ’s strange. I t ’s like th ey’re linked. Oh, I  get it now. This is his story, the gorilla man, and he went there.Some confusion still exists however as Shayla notices that the lady on the bench is the same lady that was on the bench when he sat down but then she adds that the other lady (not sure who she means) is yelling at her dog. Clearly some o f the students are beginning to see that the sections are connected but there is still some confusion as to how the parts are related and what some of the more “random” images mean.Third voiceThis section is told from the point o f view o f Charles, the oppressed and timid son. The illustrative style, although similar to Smudge’s father’s dark tones, is different in that Browne uses cross-hatching and more shadowing perhaps to give the impression o f powerlessness. The shadows overpower the boy and the cross-hatching creates a type o f dark, heavy tone that“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 25implies he is trapped. The first image shows the boy with his hands in his pockets, looking out the window as Victoria, the dog, looks on. He appears to be looking out the window, longingly, while appearing to be almost imprisoned within the cell like rooms o f his home. As the section progresses and Charles become less timid we see a change from a dark tone to lighter, more colourful one. Charles never looks directly at the reader until he begins to gain some confidence.The right hand page shows the boy from the back with a large shadow looming over him (his mother presumably). The hat worn by the shadow matches the shape o f the trees, the clouds, and the lamps on the lamppost. This image is very telling, as it seems to convey the boy’s sense o f oppression, in that his mother overpowers him and he sees her shadow or image in everything around him.On the next two-page spread we see the two child characters interacting. The left hand side shows the same image o f the park bench mentioned above, with the lamppost as a divider but we see it from behind, looking out into the park. This time we just see the parents on the edge o f the image while the focus is on the children. There is still a division, with the boy’s side being bleak and dark and the girl’s third bright and sunny, but the distribution on the page is moving closer to equality. The large panel on the right hand page shows the two children playing on a slide. Smudge appears to be trying to convince a more reluctant Charles to go down the slide. The slide is centered on the page to show a more equal distribution o f power. The dogs playing in the background illustrate that animals do not discriminate. The children coming together to play shows their willingness to play together even though they come from different worlds. The prejudice between the adults, however, still exists.The next three images show the kids playing together happily, as Charles loosens up and even shows Smudge that he can climb a tree. What is so interesting about this image is that“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 26Charles finally gazes at the reader. The text, however, contradicts the image as Charles states, “I am good at climbing trees and I show her how to do it.” What the reader sees, however, is Smudge high up in the tree and Charles peeking around a branch lower down. It is as if  he is asking the reader to believe what he is saying. The last image is a full-page view o f Charles and his mother leaving the park after the mother discovers Charles’ whereabouts. The mother is not impressed with the “frightful types” that one can find at the park. As they leave Charles looks back longingly and says, “Maybe Smudge will be there next time?” They leave a trail o f leaves behind them again, but this time they are pink, signifying renewal and hope.The student observations and comments about this section were sparser. They did not all agree on the mood o f the boy at first glance. Luna felt that the boy looked sad (not mentioned in the text), while Heidi suggested that he was bored (mentioned in the text). On the second page all o f the students noticed the hat-shaped trees and lampposts but the origin o f  the shadow confused some.Luna: ...it looks like humans in the background and the tree is shaped like a hat and a shadow’ o f  a man behind him.Heidi: He (Charles) is not wearing a hat, but the shadow> is.Neither student makes the connection yet that the hat-wearing shadow over Charles is hismother. Luna assumes the shadow belongs to a man and Heidi thinks it is Charles’ shadowexcept that he is not wearing a hat.Antonio: Oh a hat-shaped tree, clouds, lights, this is a weird world. Shadow’ is like a dog.Shayla: So that is the same dog again and fo r  some reason the clouds and lampposts are shaped like hats, and that (points to the mother’s shadow).Bob: Somebody’s shadow.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 27Antonio, Shayla and Bob all make reference to the shadow and the hat-shaped objects but offer little speculation at this point. The image o f the two children on the bench was only mentioned by two o f the students where Heidi observed, “it’s half happy, half sad.” Antonio, who stated that “it was weird how on his side it is really dark and on her side it is really happy.” On the next three pages where most o f the images show the two children playing together, the comments were focused mainly on the information gained from looking at the images, with very little reference made to the text. The images on these pages, and on all o f the pages are visually rich and fun to look and try and figure out. I do feel, however, that they sometimes distract the reader from the text and from experiencing the story at a deeper level.Fourth voiceThis last section is told from Smudge’s point o f view. It begins with Smudge, her father and their dog entering the park. The trees are brightly coloured and reflective of Smudge’s mood and attitude. In contrast to the peaceful first page, the second page depicts Charles’ mother looking extremely angry and hostile. She is almost unrecognizable save the hat and the scarf. Even her brass buttons look angry. In fact, Luna was so deceived by the image that she said, “It is a picture o f a woman that looks like the other woman only madder.” Smudge’s view o f their initial encounter show the park bench again but this time we are looking down the bench at Charles and his mother. Smudge says, “I got to talking to this boy,” although we do not see this initial conversation we are left to infer that perhaps the parents are not focused on the children but rather their own thoughts and do not notice the conversation. We know from the first voice that Charles’ mother is unaware that he is no longer on the bench and that is why she screams out his name. The children begin to forge a tentative friendship and are bound by the universality o f childhood pleasures, such as: laughing at the dogs, playing in the bandstand, swinging and“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 28climbing trees. The bandstand image did however, pose some difficulties for the reader in that in the interior o f  the bandstand it appears to be daytime and outside o f the bandstand it appears to be evening. None o f the students even mentioned this until we discussed the book as a group.My impression was that the word “bandstand” was unfamiliar to them so they simply skimmed over it on initial reading. When I explained to the group what a bandstand was they made reference to the differing interior and exterior colours but nothing about the disruption o f time. Luna asserted that perhaps “they are so happy that they want the day to continue.”The first page o f the last two-page spread shows the same image that is on the cover for the third time. Each time this image is shown it is slightly different. Here Charles is giving Smudge the red flower but instead o f the trees being orange like on the front cover they are blue and purple, that coupled with the direction o f the shadows shows the passage o f  time from day to evening. The students did not remark on this. The strange part o f this image is that all is dark except for the ball o f sunshine engulfing the two friends.The right hand side o f the last two-page spread incited much discussion. What is interesting is that the image apparently takes us full circle back to Charles’ home. The reader gets the sense o f the story being over. Charles is looking back longingly as he is about to enter his home. A home which does not resemble the white, pristine Victorian home depicted on the first page but rather a dark, foreboding prison-like structure, surrounded by a moat, pillars, topped with the shape o f the mother’s hat and an iron gate. 1 began to ask the students questions about the house and how Charles may be feeling. They are not really reacting to the image negatively or even questioning the differences between the two houses. Suddenly Shayla reminds us that we are still looking at things from Smudge’s perspective and so maybe this is just how Smudge imagines Charles’ house to be. The others are not sure but some are willing to“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 29entertain the notion. The last image o f the book is simple, a mug containing the red flower that Charles gave to Smudge. Before even reading the text we know that this is at Smudge’s house and in Smudge’s voice which give credence to Shayla’s theory about the image o f Charles’ house.Voices in the Park is a powerful book about the human condition that allows children to share in the experience o f these characters at whatever level they are ready to accept. Some younger children may simply enjoy the repetitive nature o f the same story told four times over and enjoy the gorillas with human like qualities. The multiple narratives may intrigue slightly older children with some knowledge o f fictional narrative. Others may be drawn to the use o f different fonts, colours, tones and illustrative styles to convey mood and feeling. While more sophisticated readers may be able to relate to the themes o f prejudice, oppression, depression and optimism it really does not matter the level at which this book is interpreted there really is something for everyone, art appreciation, humour, problem-solving or opening up the more serious topics o f discussion, this book has a place in all elementary collections.Student Responses to the Metafictive Devices Encountered Special features and organizationPostmodern picture books are unique in that by definition they contain certain features, which make them special. Each scholar has his/her own way o f describing these characteristics, or metafictive devices. Goldstone (2002) uses four large categories: Nonlinearity, self- referential text, the sarcastic or mocking tone and antiauthoritarian text. Anstey (2002) further defines these categories using characteristics, such as: nontraditional ways o f using plot, character and setting which challenge readers expectations and require different ways o f reading and viewing, unusual use o f author’s voice to position the reader to read the book in particular“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 30ways and through a particular character’s eyes using written or visual text, indeterminacy in written or illustrative text, requiring the reader to construct some o f the text and meanings, a pastiche o f  illustrative styles, which require the reader to employ a range o f knowledge and grammars to read, new and unusual design and layout, which challenge the reader’s perception o f how to read a book, contesting discourses between written and illustrative text, which require the reader to consider alternate readings and meaning, intertextuality, which requires the reader to use background knowledge in order to access available meanings, and the availability o f multiple readings and meanings for a variety o f  audiences.For the purposes o f my project, I sought to understand how my subjects responded when they encountered metafictive devices and consequently how they engaged in meaning-making strategies. As I listened to the transcribed think-aloud sessions o f my subjects I was able to create four different categories o f metafictive devices used. These categories were:1) multiple narratives/perspectives2) symbolic representation, illustrative technique, design and layout3) indeterminacy4) nonlinearityAfter determining the above-mentioned metafictive devices, I analyzed student responses by device. I hoped that by gaining insight on how students coped with these devices that I would be able to offer teaching suggestions to make these texts more accessible to all students.Multiple narratives/perspectivesMost o f the students we teach are familiar with or becoming familiar with the narrative structure o f fiction. They may even be able to articulate whether a story is told in the first person o f third person. When we read Voices in the Park, however, the students were presented with a“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 31narrative structure that changes through out the story. Each of the four ‘retellings o f the story is from the perspective o f each o f the four characters. This did take some getting used to, but in general by the end o f the second character’s section each of the students had realized that there was something different happening with the narration and by the end o f the third section all could predict that Smudge’s perspective would be the last one. During the think-aloud session references were made to the narrative structure and how each section was somewhat different than the last due to a change in narration. Heidi noted, "I think it would be an adult talking because it says “Charles, our son. ” Maybe she is talking to someone else like the story. ” Here it is clear that Heidi knows there is something different about the narration. The "someone else like the story” could refer to her belief that Browne is using third person narration. Luna suggested, “that it was written from different people's perspectives and she liked how it had different “voices” in it. " She felt “it was roughly the same story, it was just how' each person  interpreted it. What their character was thinking at the time. 1 here was still some confusion over character and narrator as is shown by Shayla’s comment, “there is a different part fo r  each character, well narrator and they each had a different font. Although the students were familiar with both third person and first person narration, the change in narration was less familiar and took some time to understand. Browne s use of changing fonts for each character provided some bridging to make the transition easier.Symbolic representation, illustrative technique, design and layoutThis was certainly the area that produced the majority o f the comments and discussion from the students. They made reference to many o f the iconic symbols that Browne used in his illustrations and symbols and there was some attempt to analyze the meaning o f these symbols but this is where a skilled teacher could really help to facilitate a discussion. The symbols and“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” ^references in this book are complex and Serafini (2005) suggests that, “teachers need to become more aware o f  illustrative techniques and media, .. .in order to be better positioned to help children construct meaning in transaction with the picture books they encounter (p.61). The students' comments with reference to symbolic representation, illustrative technique and design layout centered around Browne’s use o f colour to represent mood and emotion, the zoomorphic style, the position o f the characters on the page, the different fonts used for each character and some o f the symbolic images used in the background o f the images. They also commented on how these techniques were something that they did not usually see in the picture books they were used to readingColourAll o f the students commented on how Browne used colour to convey the mood andemotions o f each character. They also commented on how as a character’s mood changed thecolours changed to reflect their mood.Bob: With the boy it starts to get a little brighter and with the girl it is extremely bright. And the Dad when he is going to the park the colours are dull, but on the way back he is happier because he is talking to her (Smudge) and the people are dancing and everything is nice, bright colours now.Shayla: When the dad is narrating the story it is dull and grumpy looking. The boy is boring so his pictures are dull and sad looking. The girl is so happy that her section is all bright and colourful.StyleVoices in the Park is a book that 1 have used in my classroom for a few years and I would definitely say that the use o f zoomorphic characters has been a huge stumbling block for many o f my students. In my experience, readers who were less experienced and less willing to take risks in reading had a more difficult time accepting the zoomorphic characters, and some would not even attempt to analyze the story. They found it to be too confusing or stupid, questioning why“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 33they would be monkeys (chimps) and not humans. The subjects I chose for this study also foundthe use o f  chimps frustrating and confusing but agreed to persevere with the story. They didhave opinions on why the author chose chimps however.Bob: The cover is brightly coloured to catch your attention and i f  you pay  attention you  see that they are monkeys, not people. There are strange looking plants but when you  look inside you see that everything is how you would see it today, except for the monkeys.Heidi: Maybe it is like an internal/animal world? So he is h a lf man/ h a lf gorilla and  maybe this is a h a lf people/half animal world?Antonio: The h a lf gorilla/half people or monkeys thing. That part still confuses me.Luna: I  think it is really cool the way they do it in the monkey way and not in the people way because then it would seem like a normal book and not a postmodern book. I  think it was cool the way they used gorillas. I  liked that.In the group session, the students talked about the fact that they were gorillas and thatthere were people in the background. They began discussing random symbols that they noticedbut they did not spend much time discussing or analyzing what those symbols meant in relationto the story. Again here is a brilliant opportunity for a skilled teacher to focus in on the symbolsBrowne used and how they related to the overall theme o f the story. There was some discussionabout why gorillas were chosen and although most o f the students felt it was random, Luna madea thoughtful comment.Luna: For me it made sense, it made it a different book. I f  they were people it would be hard to figure out. So the fa c t that they were gorillas made it okay fo r  everything else to be weird.This reinforces Doonan’s (1992) notion that “giving humans animal heads is a way of dealing with potentially painful issues in a form that will not alarm young children but will still be able to provoke lively debate among adolescents" (p.48). Although Luna was not necessarily referring to the emotional theme o f  the story, she did understand that the zoomorphism allowed the author to create distance between fantasy and reality.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 34PositionThe positioning o f the characters on the page was not a huge area o f discussion but I was particularly interested in their comments about the image on the second recto image, where the mother realizes that Charles is missing and Smudge’s father is sitting on the far end o f the bench reading the paper.Shayla: She (the mother) is more neat and tidy so her side is all clean but his side is allmessy and there is garbage.In the group session I showed the second recto image again and then showed the seventh recto image, where Smudge and Charles are shown from the back, each sitting beside his/her parent. The pole is still dividing the image, although the division is somewhat more equitable now. I asked them what they noticed about these two pictures. They did eventually come to the idea that the two images were the same bench but from a different angle. I suggested that perhaps the pole was serving as some kind o f division between the characters, thinking this might elicit more conversation but they just agreed with me and did not go any further.Obviously if this were a teaching situation this moment would have served as an excellent segue into a deeper discussion o f the book’s theme. The only other references made to the book’s design was the eighth verso image, where Charles is going down the slide and the slide is directly facing the reader and even extends the reach o f the frame. Bob thought it was cool how it came out o f the picture, while Shayla thought it was strange that it appeared to be going o ff the page.IndeterminacyAccording to Lewis (2001), indeterminacy is the opposite o f excess. It is the gaps the author and illustrator, in the case o f picture books that the reader is required to fill in, in order to make sense o f the story. Panteleo, in her book Exploring Student Response to Contemporary“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 35Picturebooks, maintains that it is the synergy between the words and the images that creates this indeterminacy. The reader is required to use the information gained from both the words and the pictures to fill in what the author and illustrator have not, thus positioning the reader as co­author. As the students who participated in the study read through Voices in the Park, it was evident that this co-authoring was taking place as they tried to make sense o f the story.Bob: So the people are monkeys, I  am starting to get that. But 1 am still not sure why they are monkeys with human emotions.Heidi: Looks normal but they are monkeys.Here Bob and Heidi understand that the characters have human emotions but they are still confused by the zoomorphism. They continue to read on and Bob infers that Smudge’s dad is happier on the way home from the park because he was spending time with his daughter and talking to her.Bob: Sh e ’s happy, so he goes and spends time with her and he becomes happier.While at the park the characters are shown sitting on a park bench from various different angles. The children are also shown playing together, as are the dogs. Although there is a lot o f visual imagery there is minimal text and action being shown, thus leaving the reader/viewer to fill in the gaps.The students Used their background knowledge, and the minimal information they gleaned from the text and images to put together a deeper story than the one being recounted by Browne. All o f the students spent considerable time trying to piece together, which dog belonged to which family and they all enjoyed the interaction between the two dogs while they played at the park.Heidi: I  guess they are all starting like with people going to the park. Oh the dogs areplaying, oh that might be Victoria.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 36Bob: The dogs are having so much fun, the colours are brighter and by the end o f  the day they are extremely bright.Shayla: Hey isn 7 that the girl that was on the other page with the boy and the man? It is like they are linked. Okay I  think she is the lady that was sitting on the bench when he sat down. I  think this other lady is yelling at her dog. (still thinks there are two different ladies)By the end o f the book, all o f the students understood that each o f the characters wasrecounting a trip to the park that took place on the same day, at the same time but from thecharacter’s particular perspective. The image that probably sparked the most discussion was thestreet scene. All o f  the students agreed that it was brighter and more colourful on the way homebecause the change in the character’s mood but what was interesting is that Antonio noticed thatthe two families were going home from the park to two different neighbourhoods. We only see aglimpse o f Charles’ home from the outside on the first page o f first voice and we see inside hishome on the first page o f third voice. As for Smudge we only see the street scene so we don’tknow if  she lives in a house or an apartment. As for the interior we only see an image o f thefather sitting in an overstuffed chair with no background. Given this lack o f information bothLuna and Antonio used their background knowledge to visualize the characters home situations.Antonio: These two families do not live in the same neighbourhood that is for sure.Luna: Smudge and her dad look like people from the inner city. It is a pretty sad looking city. 1 think she lives on the east side and he lives on the west side. (This reflects the socio-economic situation o f Luna’s particular city)Lastly the discussion arose about the images in the book and whether or not they helped or hindered the reader in their understanding o f the story. At the beginning o f the study we had a session where we looked at other postmodern picture books and Shayla commented that some o f those books all fit together at the end but that Voices in the Park still had things that didn’t fit. Antonio didn’t think the pictures were completely misleading like in some other “weird” books.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 37He felt that after reading the book and looking carefully at the pictures he was able to figure it out. Several agreed that the pictures generally helped you but some things were put in there to distract you, like the trees shaped like peaches, for example. They agreed that things like that made you stop and try and figure things out, you had to try and put it all together.NonlinearityThe passage o f time in Voices in the Park was a point o f confusion for some o f thestudents, however those who were confused were willing to push that confusion aside as they feltit did not really interfere with their overall understanding o f the story. All o f the students agreed,after discussing the story as a group that the story started in the morning, that everyone went tothe same park to walk the dog, and that they all went home later on that day. We see thatCharles and his mother leave before Smudge and her dad but the students felt that very little timeelapsed between the two families leaving the park.Antonio: Maybe time goes on and every time it is retold at the beginning the sky was bright. I ’m not sure. The boy is leaving with the mom. Maybe Smudge is leaving later. The sun is already down so maybe they ju s t left a little later.One image, in particular, caused some confusion. At the half way point o f fourth voice (Smudge's point of view), the two children and the two dogs are merrily playing on the bandstand. Anything outside o f the bandstand appears to be nighttime and everything inside the bandstand is light and sunny and appears to be daylight, except the characters shadows are cast on the floor o f the bandstand. This caused most o f the students to pause and speculate on the passage o f time.Shayla: See now it is the happy-go-lucky place (bandstand). It is daytime here but nighttime in the sky. Light-light, dark-dark. I  think it could be the next day or even two days because there is only one day setting and one night setting. But then again each time they come in the background is different so...She pauses and I reassure her that it is okay to be unsure.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 38Shayla: 1 think it could go either way because there are clues either way. I  think the author wanted to make the mood with the background.Although many questions about the passage o f time did present themselves, the studentsdid not allow this ambiguity to stop them from persevering with the story.SECTION 5: Discussion The purpose o f this paper has been to explore how students respond to postmodern picture books with metafictive devices and then how they engage in meaning-making strategies to comprehend the text. There has been limited research in this area and with the growing popularity o f this subgenre o f book, I felt it was worthwhile to explore these questions. Like Serafini (2005), I found that although the participants initially found this book “weird” and “confusing” they were intrigued with the interaction between the text and image and they were willing to persevere with the story.New literacies are changing the way in which we need to prepare our students. It is imperative for students to become competent negotiators o f meaning. They need to be able to use strategies that will allow them to understand more than just narrative text. Online reading is often non-linear and requires readers to make decisions about what to read next. Symbolic representation, illustrative technique and design and layout play an important role in both fiction and non-fiction texts that our students will encounter, both on the page and on the screen. Traditional comprehension strategy instruction should be coupled with explicit instruction focusing on the metafictive devices highlighted in this study. As students are made aware o f the different features and organization o f postmodern texts with metafictive devices, they can begin to transfer this skill to other types o f non-linear texts such as, websites and non-fiction texts. Direct instruction o f illustrative techniques, layout and design will draw the reader’s attention to the deliberate way in which the author uses these techniques to further the narrative o f the story“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 39and how this in turn makes the reader consider more than just the text as meaning. By introducing the metafictive device o f indeterminacy, the reader is forced to co-create the text with the author in order to fill in any gaps in meaning, thus encouraging or moreover demanding the reader to engage in critical thinking. These literary devices require different ways o f thinking about how to make meaning. The face o f reading is changing with the influx o f interactive and digital media, and as educators it becomes increasingly important to teach our students the strategies necessary to access these new and challenging texts.ReferencesAfflerbach P., & Johnston, P. (1984). Research methodology on the use o f verbal reports in reading research. Journal o f  Reading Behavior, 16, 307-322.Anstey, M. (2002, March). “It's Not All Black and White” : Postmodern Picture Books and New Literacies. Journal o f  Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(6) 444-456.Doonan, J. (1999). ‘Drawing Out Ideas: A Second Decade o f the Work o f Anthony Browne’, The Lion and the Unicorn 23(1): 30-56.Driggs Wolfenbarger, Carol and Sipe, Lawrence R. (2007). A Unique Visual and Literary Art Form: Recent Research on Picturebooks. Language Arts, 84 (3), 273-280.Goldstone, Bette P. (2001/2002). Whaz up with out books? Changing picture book codes and teaching implications. The Reading Teacher, 55 (4), 362-370.Goldstone, Bette P. (2004). The Postmodern Picture Book: A New Subgenre. Language Arts,81 (3), 196-204.Labbo, L.D. (2004). Seeking Synergy between Postmodern Picture Books and Digital Genres. Language Arts, 81 (3), 202.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?” 40Lewis, D. (2001). Reading Contemporary Picturebooks: Picturing text. London and NewYork, Routledge/Laimer.Nikolajeva, M., & Scott C. (2000). The dynamics o f picturebook communication. Children sLiterature in Education. 31, (4), 225-239.Pantaleo, Sylvia. (2004). Young children interpret the metafictive in Anthony Browne s Voices in the Park. Journal o f  Early Childhood Literacy. 4 (2), 21 1-2j3.Pearson, D. and Dole, J. (1987). Explicit Comprehension Instruction: A Review o f Research and a New Conceptualization o f Instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 88  (2),151-165.Rosenblatt, L. (1978). The reader, the text, the poem: The transactional theory o f  the literary work. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Seelinger Trites, Roberta. (1994). Manifold Narratives: Metafiction and Ideology in Picture Books. Children’s Literature in Education, 25 (4) 225-244.Serafini, Frank. (2005). Voices in the Park, Voices in the Classroom: ReadersReponding to Postmodern Picture Books. Reading Research and Instruction, 44 (3) 47-64.Swaggerty, E. (2009). “That just really knocks me out” : Fourth grade students navigatepostmodern picture books. Journal o f Language and Literacy Education 5(1), 9-31. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development o f  higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.“WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?”REFERENCES TO CHILDREN’S LITERATUREBrowne, A. (1998). Voices in the Park. New York: DK Publishing, Inc.lvispai.lay P  (19901. Black and White . New York: Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co.Wiesner, D. (2001). The Three Pigs. New  York: Scholastic."WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?”Appendix A: An annotated bibliography o f  postmodern picture books with metafictive devicesHere is an annotated bibliography of postmodern picture books that can be used to support your instruction of this genre.Book Cover Book Title and AuthorAnnotation MetafictivedevicesPreviously Ahlberg, A. and Ingman, B. (2007) Previously.Cambridge Massachusetts: Candlewick PressThis book is a fo ilow -up to “The Runaway D inne r,” a parody o f the  G ingerbread Man where  a sausage  hops up o ff a p late and runs away w ith the knife and fork. P reviously reverses d irection and th is  m ash-up o f fa iry ta les shows characte rs  living happily ever... before. A v e ry  in teresting concep t illustra ting cause and effect. Ingm an ’s beautifu l acry lics use perspective  tha t a llows the reader to experience the  jou rney  in reverse. He combines s im p le  line d raw ings w ith painted fu ll-page  spreads. He uses line and motion tha t m akes you r want to  strap on you r seat belt and jo in  the ride.IntertextualityParodyIronyBrowne, A. (1998). Voices in the Park.New York: DK Publishing.A  trip to the park to wa lk the dogs is the prem ise o f th is story, told in fou r voices. Each person ’s recoun t o f the same event may be seem ing ly  the same but we  soon learn tha t not everyone sees th ings the  same way. B rowne uses the backdrop o f a London park to tackle issues o f class, oppression  and hope in th is c leverly  assembled, engaging book. H is illustra tions are rife w ith cu ltu ra l a llus ions tha t create a d isrup tion  in the  narrative. This d isrup tion  a llow s the  reader the  tim e to begin to construct his o r her own view  o f the characte rs  and the ir trip  to the  park. The full co lour panels draw  you in and the  use o f light and tone c rea te  a mood and fee ling  that enab les you to see the view  from  the park by a d iffe ren t pair o f eyes each time. C reative  use o f d iffe ren t fonts g ives “vo ice ” to each o f the characte rs .Th is book w ill mean d iffe ren t th ings to each reader as they crea te  a sto ry in the park.Non-linearitySymbolicRepresentationMultipleNarrativesIndeterminacyTypographicExperimentationBurningham, J. (1977) Come Awav from the Water, Shirlev. New York: Harper Collins.Shirley and her parents head o ff fo r a care free  day at the beach but both parties have a very d iffe ren t v iew  o f w hat that means. Sh irley ’s p reoccup ied  parents are fu ll o f dire w arn ings abou t the  dangers  at the beach, w h ile  S h irley ’s imag ina tion  takes her on a m u ltitude  o f adventures. Burn ingham  creates a lonely portra it o f a child w ho  is left to create her own adven tu res  w ith danger, p ira tes and buried treasure  because her parents are unab le  to engage w ith her. Ch ild ren  will de ligh t is Burn ingham ’s co lourfu l and crea tive  dep ictions o f S h irley ’s adven tu res and hopefu lly parents w ill be encouraged to put down the  pape r and become part o f the adventure.MultipleNarrativesIronyCronin, D. and Bliss, H. (2007) Diary of a Fly. New York: Harper CollinsThis c leverly  p resented book is the latest ins ta llm en t in o f the  “d ia ry ” series co llabora tion  by C ron in  and Bliss. O ther d ia ries inc lude tha t o f a worm  and a spider. C ron in ’s crea tive  d ia logue team s nice ly w ith  B liss ’ c reative and h ila rious draw ings. This is ano ther examp le  o f the b lurring o f genres so popu la r today in p icture  books. The story is silly and wh im sica l but it is peppered w ith real facts abou t flies and the ir abilities. B liss has used the zoom ed in perspective  rem in iscen t o f Van A llsburg  in “Two Bad A n ts ” to g ive you the righ t the re  experience. The end papers w ith the “taped ” in photos and cap tions round out th is  very creative bookIndeterminacyTypographicExperimentationMacaulay, D. (1990). Black and White.Boston: Houghton Mifflin.“W ARN ING -Th is  book appears to conta in a num ber o f d iffe ren t stories tha t do not necessarily  occu r at the same time. Then again, it may conta in only one story. In any event, carefu l inspection o f both w ords and p ictures is recomm ended .” This Ca ldeco tt w inn ing  maste rp iece  te lls the story o f the in te rrup tion  o f train service and the im pact it has on peop le ’s lives. Th is book a llows readers to “see” tha t th ings are not a lways B lack and White. It is an illustra tive  de ligh t tha t b lends a varie ty  o f techn iques includ ing waterco lour, sepia wash, line and co loured ink d raw ings and comb ine  them  w ith an unusual sty le and layout to both engage and in trigue readers.MultipleN a r r a t iv e sIndeterminacyNon-linearityParodySelf-ReferentialityTypographicExperimentation‘ C a ldeco tt W inner (1991)Macaulay, D. (1995). Shortcut. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.In nine b rie f seem ing ly unconnected chapters Macaulay crea tes a se t in motion a series o f events tha t luckily all w ork  out in the end. A lbe rt and his horse June set out on a trip to  the market to sell the ir melons. A  few  innocent actions turn the  w o rlds  o f the o the r characters upside down. Th is is a w onderfu l example o f a postm odern  p ic tu re  book as it p lays w ith non- linearity, in tra textua lity and parody brilliantly. A cause and e ffect ta le  that like “B lack and W h ite ” w ill have you wondering  if these even ts  are re lated or not. M acau lay ’s p layfu l d raw ings are colourful, v ib ran t and h ilarious. Children (and adults) o f all ages w ill have a wonderfu l tim e  putting the p ieces together and decid ing  w he the r taking a “shortcu t” w as a good idea or not.IndeterminacyIntratextualityMultipleNarrativesNon-linearityMartin, J. Briggs, and Azarian, M. (1998). Snowflake Bentley. New York: Houghton Mifflin.Snow flake Bentley is a b rilliant example  o f genre b lending, an engaging narrative abou t a man, w ho  as a child was fascina ted  w ith  the beauty o f nature, in particu la r, the snow flake. Snow in V e rm on t w as no anomaly and many d ism issed  th is passion as silly. Bentley showed the world  through his beautifu l photographs the w onder o f the  natura l world  and the in tricacy o f snow flakes  fo r those who would take  a c loser look. The story o f his pursuit, coup led  w ith facts d isp layed on the s ide o f each page about snow flakes, photography and the work o f the  real Snow flake Bentley are h igh ligh ted  by the  beautifu l w oodcuts  by artist, Mary Azarian. The ir in tricate  design and cra ftsm ansh ip  have com bined  to crea te  a beautifu l hybrid o f a rt and science.Non-linearity*C a ldeco tt W inne r (1999)Rathmann, Peggy. (1995) Officer " Buckle and Gloria.Toronto, Ontario: Scholastic.A  de lightfu l story abou t friendsh ip . O ffice r Buckle, w ith his fa ith fu l s idekick G loria makes a popu la r team  when they give their safe ty ta lks. O ffice r Buckle is d isappo in ted  when he learns tha t maybe it is not his safe ty advice that is making them  so popular. They soon learn tha t being a lone isn ’t ha lf as much fun as being together.The illustra tions in th is  book are fan tastic  from cover to cover. The use o f the sta r m otif is v is ib le  th roughou t the  book, from the  front cover, the end papers, the s tuden t’sMultipleNarrativesIndeterminacy‘ C a ldeco tt W inne r (1996)notes, the  badge and the  police car, perhaps to show  tha t being a star, may mean less than being a true friend. M ost illus tra tions are framed, one per page. Rathmann does an exce llen t job  o f show ing movement and her vers ion  o f G loria  is playful and endearing.Scieszka, J., and Smith, L. (1992) The Stinkv Cheese Man and other fairlv stupid tales. New York: Penguin.The second in a co llection  o f e ight co llabora tive  e ffo rts  w ith illustrator, Lane Sm ith, Jon Scieszka  takes a h ila rious and irreveren t look at our most be loved fa iry ta les. The story begins w ith the  Little Red Hen and her story o f bread but the  reader soon rea lizes tha t the  fa iry ta le  world  as they know  it w ill be turned upside down. The thread tha t ties these ta les toge the r is the S tinky Cheese man who be lieves he is being pursued by the  fa iry ta le  characters a la the G ingerb read  Man, however the opposite  is actua lly  the  case. This c lass ic  postm odern  p ic tu re  book is a b rillian t exam ple  o f m eta fic tion  as the e lements o f the  book tum b le  o ff the page. The tab le  o f con ten ts  itse lf a lm ost knocks out the poor red hen. The c lass ic  characte rs  are g iven a voice and they use it to  express the ir outrage at the silly and illog ica l d irection that the ir orig ina l stories take. Th is  is one o f the best known fairy ta le  parod ies whose  orig inal layout and design leave readers begging fo r more. Lane has captured the essence o f the  red hen 's  annoying vo ice  by using a red fon t th roughout. The fon t appears to grow , shrink and particu larly melt at the  smell o f the stinky cheese man. Jack in the B eansta lk ’s long and drawn out story drips o f the  page to h igh ligh t it neverend ingness. The in terp lay o f text and illustra tion in th is book create a postm odern  masterp iece.Self-ReferentialityParodyIntertextualityTypographicExperimentation*C a ldeco tt Honor Book (1993) Van Allsburg (1995)) Bad Dav at Riverbend. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.It starts out like any o ther day in the s leepy weste rn  town o f R iverbend. Not much happening until the sheriff sees a brigh t light in the  d istance. A stagecoach covered in m ysterious goo rides into town and suspic ion rises. W ha t is th is curious phenomenon? A  posse investigates and makes a shocking d iscovery about R iverbend. Th is  book is a departu re  from  V anA llsbu rg ’s typicalSelf-ReferentialityParodystyle. The s im p lis tic  co lourless (at first) line draw ings draw  you in to the cow boy ’s world and his crea tive  use o f co lour and light make th is  “book in a book” story a c rea tive  and v isua l delight.Watt, M. (2007) Chester. Toronto: Kids Can Press.For anyone who has ever owned a ca t you will re late to C heste r and his temperament. M e lan ie  W a tt m akes every attempt to te ll the  story o f a mouse living in a country house, but Chester the cat has ano the r idea. Even w ith the in troduction  o f a very large dog, C hester pe rseveres to become the star o f th is  very enterta in ing book. W a tt c rea tive  use o f layout, font and narra tion has created a h ilarious story tha t tru ly captures the “my way or the  h ighw ay” nature o f the cat. Th is book was rendered in pencil and w a te rco lou r and was dig ita lly assembled into a simple, fun and p layfu l story. The simple line, repetitive  s truc tu re  and page layout makes th is a favou rite  fo r “ k ids” o f all ages.Self-ReferentialityIntertextualityParodyMultipleNarrativesWiesner, D. (1991). Tuesday. New York: Clarion Books.Tuesday begins like any o the r n ight tha t is until frogs take  flight. In th is a lm ost word less book, W iesne r takes the  reader on a fligh t o f tha t inc ludes looking in on a m idn igh t snacker, w atch ing  a little te lev is ion  and go ingIndeterminacyParodyto battle w ith a te rrito ria l dog. Th is book, rem in iscent o f 1950s sty le  sci-fi invites the reader to jo in  the adventure  and the un lim ited possib ilities. If frogs can fly, maybe pigs can too. You w ill have to w a it until next Tuesday to find out. The full co lour two-page spreads use perspective  to make the reader feel he or she has taken fligh t a long side the  frogs. W iesne r’s use o f light and motion make this book v isua lly  stunn ing and a llow  the reader to fu lly engage in the adventure.*C a ldeco tt W inne r (1992)Wiesner, D. (2001). The Three PiqsNot your regular vers ion  o f the trad itiona l tale. In W iesne r’s vers ion,ParodyNew York: Scholastic.th ings a ren ’t a lways as they appear. You are drawn in by “Once upon a tim e ” but th ings go in a much d iffe ren t d irection. W iesne r’s use o f fram ing, wh ite  space, sep ia  and white, ch ild ish fon ts for the nursery rhymes, speech bubb les and the book as an artifact, coup led  w ith the incred ib le  va rie ty  o f illustra tive  styles m akes th is  a vers ionMetafictionIntertextualityWiesner, D. (2001). The Three Piqs.New York: Scholastic.Not you r regu la r vers ion  o f the trad itiona l ta le. In W iesne r’s version, th ings a ren ’t a lways as they appear. You are drawn in by “Once upon a tim e" but th ings go in a much d iffe ren t direction. W iesne r’s use o f fram ing, wh ite  space, sep ia  and white, ch ild ish fonts fo r the nursery rhymes, speech bubb les and the  book as an artifact, coup led  w ith the  incred ib le  varie ty  o f illustra tive  sty les  makes th is a vers ion  to ponder ove r and over, as it is never the sam e story tw ice.W iesner uses waterco lo r, gouache, co loured inks, pencil, and co lored pencil on Fabriano hot press paper to create th is s tunn ing  and v isua lly  p leasing  book.ParodyMetafictionIntertextuality‘ C a ldeco tt W inne r (2002)Wisniewski, D. (1997). The Secret Knowledqe of Grown-Ups. NewYork: Harper Collins.This crea tive  co llection  o f “sec re t” files a ttem pts  to shed some ligh t on the consp iracy theory behind parents and the ir nonsensica l rules. W isn iewski is touted as the  revea le r and illu s tra to r o f this co llection  o f secre t documents. The cover looks like a secre t file  and his crea tive  use o f cu t and c rum pled paper c rea te  the illusion that these  files had best not fall in to the  w rong  hands. The bright co lours  and ove r the top illustra tions add h ilarity to th is  top-secre t d iscovery. Each page fo llows the same fo rm at o f rule, offic ia l reason, and o f course  the  truth. The pred ic tab le  form  and creative text w ou ld  serve as a wonderfu l springboard  fo r c rea tive  w riting.MetafictionParodyTypographicExperimentation‘ C a ldeco tt W inne r (1997)Yorinks, Arthur. (1986). Hev, Al. Illustrated by Richard Egielski. Toronto, Ontario: Collins Publishers.Hey, A l is a love ly story about friendsh ip  and seeing you r cup as ha lf full not ha lf empty. W hen Eddie and A l long fo r an eas ie r life they ge t the ir w ish. They a re  carried o ff by a co lourfu l bird to parad ise but soon rea lize tha t m aybe  the ir old life w asn ’t so bad a fte r all.R ichard Eg ie lsk i’s co lourfu lly  framed images take  the  reader to a trop ica lMultipleNarrativesdeterminacy

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