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naive narrators in picture books?

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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!
#1 - July 14, 2011, 09:44 AM

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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
#2 - July 14, 2011, 10:28 AM
How Things Work (Publications International, 2006)
Bugs & Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter (Boyds Mill Press, 2010)
Touch the Earth (NASA, 2009)

Jenn Bertman
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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. . .
#3 - July 14, 2011, 01:39 PM
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
jenniferchamblissbertman.com

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Hey Rebecca,
Two of my upcoming PBs have just such a narrator. You can PM me if you have questions.
Jean
#4 - July 14, 2011, 02:17 PM
Jean Reidy
Coming soon: Pup 681, Truman, When the Snow is Deeper Than My Boots Are Tall, Group Hug , Specs and Specs II.
Others at www.jeanreidy.com

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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.
#5 - July 15, 2011, 07:33 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
#6 - July 15, 2011, 10:58 AM
ALIENS GET THE SNIFFLES TOO! Candlewick, 2017
LOUD LULA, Two Lions 2015
CALIFORNIA HISTORY FOR KIDS, CRP
FARMER MCPEEPERS Rising Moon

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?)
#7 - June 27, 2014, 02:11 PM

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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. : -)
#8 - June 27, 2014, 04:09 PM
I've Got Eyes! - Amicus Ink

www.juliemurphybooks.com

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