This week, the Junior Librarians Lexi (Owl class) and Lev (Hawk class) are sharing with us their favourite reads. Interestingly, in both the books they have chosen, the author uses differing fonts to create a particular atmosphere.
Firstly, Lexi recommends Daisy: 006 and a Bit written by Kes Gray and illustrated by Nick Sharratt.
Lexi’s reason for her choice: “I really enjoy the Diasy series of books and this story is really FUNNY!”
Mrs Harvey wholeheartedly supports Lexi’s choice- the Daisy series of books are popular with all the children at Grimsdell. This sixth anarchic story features the irrepressible Daisy as a spy. Yes, Daisy is back and this time she’s not just Daisy, she’s 006 and a Bit, spy extraordinaire. With her black felt-tip moustache, dark glasses, secret spy gadgets and special spy code, she’s poised and ready for action. There’s just one problem, nobody can understand a word she’s saying! Mrs Pike the neighbour, Tiptoes the cat and even Gabby, Daisy’s best friend, are all baffled by her spy language.
Poor 006 and a Bit is about to abandon her mission when a mysterious stranger with a blue moustache and purple beard deep pokes his head around the door…
Not only is the book a great read but from a literary perspective, the text has much to recommend it. The varied font size and style used throughout the book encourages the reader to think about the author’s intent. What is Kes Gray trying to convey? It challenges the reader to think more deeply about the story and the author’s purpose – which, in turn, develops the reader’s wider reading comprehension skills.
The are many reasons why an author changes the font size and style in a story. The use of certain fonts can make a reader feel a specific emotion. Alternatively, it can be used to express the personality or characteristics of a particular individual in the story. A change in font may indicate the internal thoughts of a character as opposed to what it being said aloud. An author may use font size and style to draw out the subtle nuances within a story.
Gray’s use of thought bubbles adds a deeper meaning to the story. His utilisation of this fundamental comic book feature to his story helps to explain the speaker’s identity and emotional state, as well as the sequence of interaction. Thought bubbles afford the reader access to characters’ voices- their private inner thoughts as opposed to their public verbal expressions.
Secondly, Lev recommends one of his favourite fiction books, Waiting for Wolf written and illustrated by Sandra Dieckmann.
Lev explains his choice: “This is a really good story, and you are never sure what is going to happen next as you turn the page …!”
Mrs Harvey supports Lev’s choice. Waiting for Wolf is a visually stunning, heart touching story of friendship, loss and acceptance. The illustrations of wildlife and natural environment are striking, with gorgeous colours and textures. Sandra Dieckmann is a relatively new author to our Grimsdell library collection, and I am sure that she will soon become a household name with her wonderful manipulation of text and inspiring illustrations.
Sandra Dieckmann’s debut picture book, Leaf, was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal, longlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize and shortlisted for both the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and the AOI World Illustration Award. Sandra has written and illustrated three picture books and has also illustrated the cover for Cerrie Burnell’s The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth.
The story is presented in a uniquely creative way – the text covers the page at differing angles, and this encourages and challenges children to read in a different way, as well as making it exciting and interactive. It persuades the children to think about the author’s intent – why are certain sentences presented in unusual formats? Similarly, the changing style and size of font add another layer of meaning to the book. Why has the author chosen to use different fonts for the differing characters? In this story, the differing fonts mirror the personalities of the various superheroes. In this book there are excellent examples of onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is a literary device in which a word is used to represent a sound. Onomatopoeia helps heighten language beyond the literal words on the page. Its sensory effect is used to create particularly vivid imagery—it is as if you are in the text itself, hearing what the author is envisaging. Onomatopoeia is a great way for young children to learn the sounds of language because it translates sounds in the world around us to text. In addition, onomatopoeia makes for great fun when reading aloud. You can experiment with tone of voice, volume levels and facial expressions as you discover new sounds.