2 Followers
20 Following
ereksonj

ereksonj

Demolition - Sally Sutton, Brian Lovelock I like this as an example of a concept book. Like Machines at Work by Byron Barton or Machines Go to Work in the City, by William Low--but this one just focuses on demolition. The one page of back matter describes in labeled diagram the specific tools used for the job in the story.

The text uses onomatopoeia for each rhyming presentation of a moment in a building demolition--although a lot of it is focused on salvage rather than demolition. Of course, it would be a salvage company doing the demolition. Lovelock's illustrations make regular use of the contrasting bright colors typical of heavy machinery and working clothes against the grays and blues in the background for the raw material of the demolition. It's an interesting book to look at, and worth another look close to see how his transparent technique works--not described in the front or end matter as many artists now do. My guess would be watered down gouache or acrylic--it doesn't look quite like watercolors but could be.

This text give me occasion, however, for a critique of the rhyming children's book. Rhyming as a device is supposed to make text more memorable. If this book were a frequent read-aloud between parent and child, I can see this being so for this book. As a library book, not so much--how many times would it get read? As a general convention in children's books it's very tired. The onomatopoeic rhymes for this one were somewhat unique and kudos to Sutton for maintaining good rhythm. I just wonder if like the books mentioned above, the machines and processes themselves aren't memorable on their own. Forget whether it's done well or not, the larger question remains: Why rhyme it? If it's on purpose, it had better match an aesthetic schema for the picturebook as art instead of just leaning on an old convention.