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Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: rab on July 14, 2011, 09:44 AM

Title: naive narrators in picture books?
Post by: rab on July 14, 2011, 09:44 AM
In picture books aimed at the primary grades, is it ok to have a naive narrator? Where the pictures help the audience know more than the main character does? If so, can anybody think of examples of books that do this? Thanks for your help---I am trying to educate myself about picture books and discovering just how little I know about them!
Title: Re: naive narrators in picture books?
Post by: Amy S on July 14, 2011, 10:28 AM
I just read a picture book with a dog as a narrator who got everything right from his viewpoint, but wrong from the human world. Can't find the title though
Amelia Bedila comes to mind.
and Janet Morgan Stoeke's Minerva Louise books
Title: Re: naive narrators in picture books?
Post by: J-Bert on July 14, 2011, 01:39 PM
I feel like I've seen a lot of examples of naive characters like you described, but I'm drawing a blank on examples. I would consider the mouse in THE LITTLE MOUSE, THE RED RIPE STRAWBERRY, AND THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR to be naive, although it's the narration that shows this and not the illustrations. (The narrator is talking to the mouse and you as the reader know the mouse is being tricked.) NOTHING EVER HAPPENS ON MY BLOCK by Ellen Raskin is a great example of the main character being oblivious to what's going on around him in the illustrations, but that's an older picture book. (Short text though, I think it would still get published in today's market.) I'll keep brainstorming for more modern titles. . .
Title: Re: naive narrators in picture books?
Post by: Jean Reidy on July 14, 2011, 02:17 PM
Hey Rebecca,
Two of my upcoming PBs have just such a narrator. You can PM me if you have questions.
Jean
Title: Re: naive narrators in picture books?
Post by: rab on July 15, 2011, 07:33 AM
Thanks for the book suggestions and the comments, Amy and J-Bert. That gives me some models to look at. And thanks for the PM offer, Jean---I'll take you up on it.
Title: Re: naive narrators in picture books?
Post by: KatyD on July 15, 2011, 10:58 AM
In my pb, FARMER MCPEEPERS AND HIS MISSING MILK COWS, the cows are taking a day off from the farm, but Farmer McP doesn't realize it because his eyeglasses have mysteriously (with the help of the cows) gone missing. The readers are in on the joke, but poor Farmer is clueless.

Katy
Title: Re: naive narrators in picture books?
Post by: Robertvs on June 27, 2014, 02:11 PM
ALL BY MYSELF by Mercer Mayer

I like this book because the narrator, the Little Critter, is talking about all the things he can do by himself but the pictures indicate that he's sorta stretching the truth.

For example, the Little Critter says he can pour some juice but in the illustration he's actually spilling it. It's not only a believable thing a child would do or say, but it's very indicative of how they view themselves doing things on their own (I suppose?)
Title: Re: naive narrators in picture books?
Post by: JulieM on June 27, 2014, 04:09 PM
Yes, but I am also drawing on a blank on examples right now. I think they're great fun because children like discovering what is ACTUALLY going on in the stories by looking at the illustrations. The "He's behind you!" pantomime syndrome. : -)