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Bookends: Moving pictures and new experiences February 11, 2016

Posted by klondykewriter in Bookends.
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Bookends: Moving pictures and new experiences

By Dan Davidson

December 14, 2015

– 722 words –

 

Polar

Created by Dan Kainen

Written by Carol KaufmannPolar

24 page

Workman Publishing

$25.95

 

At some point or other you’ve seen a lenticular picture, otherwise sometimes known as jiggly pictures. The technology lends some depth and a limited amount of movement to what would otherwise be a flat image. Moving the card or picture reveals the presence of several slightly different layers of image, and our visual system fills in the blank for make it seem like an animated picture with the look of a 3D image.

In the case of Polar, this type or imagery is combined with informative text and inserted into 20 sleeves that pull the encased images as you turn up the pages, causing the illusion of movement.

The creator of the method, Dan Kainen, calls it Photicular, and has already produced books called Safari and Ocean, using the same techniques. He provides a short introduction to the ideas in the book and some brief directions as to how to get the most out of it. Basically, this boils down to keeping the book flat and not turning the pages too quickly. Do that, and all you get is a blur of motion, whereas a slow turn gives you an animated look at the animal in motion

Kaufmann provides a short essay in six pages at the beginning of the book, developing an environmental theme. Then each of the creatures gets a full page of text accompanied by a list of average vital statistics: size, habitat, range, diet, life span in the wild, threats and population.

The Aurora (featuring both the aurora borealis and aurora australis) has a section of its own at the end of the book, but the rest are creatures: reindeer, beluga whale, sled dog, walrus, snowy owl, polar bear and penguin.

While it might seem otherwise, this is not really a book for little kids. It’s sturdy, but needs supervision. It’s heavy, at 21 cm square by 4.5 cm thick, and made of stout materials. It opens sideways with the spine pointed away from the reader and the text sections are far too complex for younger readers. Also, just the notion of needing to work the visual magic slowly will require some teaching.

That done, children will undoubtedly get a lot of fun out of seeing the moving pictures and will eventually profit from the text as well.

 

Madame Martine Breaks the RulesMadame Martine

By Sarah S. Brannen

Albert Whitman & Co.

32 pages

$16.99

 

In Madame Martine’s first adventure she was bounced out of her stick-in-the-mud, colourless routine existence by the acquisition of a dog named Max. In this second book she and Max have developed a new set of routines. Most days are basically the same, but on Saturdays they always try to do something new.

As part of their regular routine they often have breakfast at a local café, where sometimes they meet Louis. He has been a guard at the Louvre Museum for the last 50 years, and he suggests to them that they might like to visit there.

Madame Martine knows that dogs aren’t allowed in the museum, so she declines, even though Louis says they just might be able the break the rules.

That should have been the end of the discussion, but that Saturday Max once again decided to taken matters into his own paws. Seeing Louis up the street he pulled away, zipped past him, and dashed in at the employee’s entrance to the museum.

The rest of the book is about how Madame Martine and Louis chase Max, manage to grab him and end up taking a surreptitious tour of the Louvre, while trying to keep the rest of the guards from noticing them.

They don’t succeed, but when the guards do catch them it turns out that all they want is to be introduced to Louis’ friends, and that no one really minds about Max, since he didn’t cause any problems.

Louis, it seems, is well respected by his colleagues and, as one says, “For a friend of Louis, we can bend the rules.”

Madame Martine’s life keeps adding new characters and experiences. The final page suggests that the next book will be about an adventure with the three of them.

 

-30-

 

 

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