Title: Voices in the Park
Author: Anthony Browne
Year published: 2001
Publisher: DK Publishing
Number of pages: 32
Recommended age: 2 to 12 years
4 Year Old Son's Rating: ★★★☆☆
7 Year Old Son's Rating: ★★★★☆
Mom's Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewed by Featured Guest Reviewers: Christy from Another Step to Take and her sons, Alex (4) and Merritt (7)
Summary (from Amazon): I called his name…I settled on a bench…I was amazed…I felt really, really happy…Four people enter a park, and through their eyes we see four different visions. There’s the bossy woman, the sad man, the lonely boy and the young girl whose warmth touches those she meets. As the story moves from one voice to another, their perspectives are reflected in the shifting landscape and seasons. This is an intriguing, many-layered, enormously entertaining book that demands to be read again and again.
What it’s about: The book is about four different people telling a story. Almost all of the pages have dogs and interesting pictures. If you look closely you can see stuff like lamps with hats.
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked the pictures. On one page some framed picture people are no longer pictures, they are real and happy.
My bottom line: I won’t reread it! (He says that as he flips through the pages for the sixth or seventh time, after asking me to read it for the third or fourth time.)
What it’s about: In my point of view the story is different people’s different points of view. The boy’s mother hates strangers though the strangers are not as bad as they seem to her. The girl’s father is sad and looking for a job. The boy is mild and thinks the place is boring. He hates it when his mother calls him back from playing with the girl. The girl didn’t think much about the boy but he acted kind and she became his friend.
What I liked and disliked about it: He likes when the boy meets the girl but hates when the mother calls the boy away.
My bottom line: Well, I would recommend it to friends but since I only reread chapter books, I probably won’t reread it.
What it’s about: As my children said, the book tells the story from four points of view. The pictures reflect the type of view changing from the mother’s very clear prim pictures to the depressed father’s darker pictures and so on. The language is like-wised varied to reflect the characters. I think the message of the story is that we don’t know other people’s stories. The mother doesn’t know the man’s story so she judges him. She doesn’t even know her son’s story so she treats him harshly and he’s bored and lonely. The other message is that chance encounters can bring joy. Smile at a stranger! Play with the other kids in the park! Who knows how you might change someone else’s day?
What I liked and disliked about it: I disliked that the characters in the book are drawn as chimpanzees, yet at the same time I recognize that it adds to the fantasy flavor of the book. I loved the hidden jokes within the pictures. I loved the message and the different voices. I like the message within the book. I do work with an antipoverty group so my children are around a lot of people whom the mother in the story would consider scruffy, so I want reminders for my children to respect that everyone has their own way of looking at things.
My bottom line: I would definitely recommend this book!
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I shared this post at the Cozy Book Hop hosted by The Reading List and the Make My Saturday Sweet Hop hosted by Amanda’s Books and More.
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