Thursday, 14 February 2013


I thought I was in for a nice break after the latest Children's Lit assignment, as we're now studying picture books. 'How difficult can that be?' I stupidly asked myself, looking forward to learning about Beatrix Potter and Anthony Browne. I then stumbled upon the following paragraph in my study guide:

'This book mocks the grand narratives of modernism and its utopian dreams of progress through its depiction of a rusting and obsolete post-industrial urban space, and by ironically playing with logic and utilising pastiche as the dominant style of artistic expression. The represented urban space and its inhabitants are nameless, and repetition and sameness of architecture and human form eschew identity, diversity and cultural difference.'

After reading this, I gave the intelligent response of 'Ay?' What someone called Mallan meant, when he or she wrote it in 2005, was that it's a book about a robot-type thing that wanders about and gets lost. Now, I know I wrote an earlier post on how I like people who are intelligent, but this is different. I learnt very little from the above paragraph except that the author probably likes using a thesaurus. 

Flicking through other relevant chapters, I've read that space, in picture books, has been 'redefined and manipulated into five dimensions'. I don't do science, but that strikes me as being a bit tricky. I only just understood Son-Number-Two's maths on 3D co-ordinates, and now I have to consider two more dimensions? Perhaps I need to watch more Doctor Who.... 

Also, there is, apparently, a huge difference between picture books and picturebooks, apart from me feeling the need to say one more quickly than the other. (One of them is also disliked by my spell-checker.) I can feel an imminent head-meeting-the-table moment. 

I'm being told that picture books  picturebooks  books with pictures are incredibly complicated because, in order to use them, you have to realise that a drawing of a person is not, in fact, a real person, but an illustration. So, what do these lecturers think two-year-olds are doing when they scribble on a bit of paper? That toddlers really believe they can create life with a crayon? It seems to me that an awful lot of people are getting away with writing teaching materials that are utter bollocks. 

What a shame I can't get away with the same in my assignments....

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