Thursday, September 6, 2012

a children's travel book

I had to create a children's book about a country for a class this summer, which I took pretty seriously. I'm not a paper writer, but I can decently collage. There were four of us in the class, and we were looking at the books available in the library for guidance for information - how do you interest a child in another country?

M. Sasak wrote a fabulous set of books called the "This is", starting with "This is Paris" in 1958, New York,  London and Rome in the 1960's, these four books being the most popular in the series, which includes Greece, Australia, Edinburgh, San Francisco, Israel and Washington, DC to name a few of the others. My favorite of his books is the copy of "This is New York" that belonged to my mother, with annotations in her young adult hand under the illustrations about "We drove by this billboard all the time" and "I used to go to this museum with Dad every Saturday". But I digress.

M. Sasak I am not, but I like the feel of his books, which include anecdotal information about a place.

The illustrations are a combination of hand-colored, computer print out, paper collage and stickers. Some of the headings were done with a calligraphy pen. The book itself is a 12"x12" post bound scrap book covered with a fabric sleeve. Had someone else in the class not chosen India, the scrap book would have looked appropriate for that service. I'm not sure if this style of fabric is appropriate for Kenya specifically, but it is African, as compared to say, Aboriginal Australian.  
To complete this book, I will add information about Kenya's landscape - that it has several different altitudes from sea level to mountain peaks, and therefore different temperatures through the year (which is also effected by the breeze coming off the Indian Ocean). I'm hesitant to add information about who Kenya is politically allied with. None of the children's books I've read have included that information.
Some of the pages in this book are a little cluttered with information, and some of them look a little bare in comparison. However, the professor was pleased with the final product, and suggested that this come along with me on interviews as an example of the kind of work I do. In looking at the books for children, it was difficult to find one that talked about India, Polynesia, Africa, or South America. Or Eastern Europe, former Soviet block countries, so if I were trying to round out a classroom library, I would focus my search on those places first for books already in print, and then see if my students and I could do a little research of our own, especially in light of the global market place, and rising countries such as India and China.

1 comment:

smkyqtzxtl said...

I think you need tocontinue on this vein and concentrate on copyright free materials, maybe then you can look into "publishing" for profit!