CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 36. . . .May 26, 2017
According to the notes on the books’ back covers, these two wordless board books are the result of Jocelyn’s “lifelong obsession with scraps, and her delight in surprising the reader with unexpected details.” As the books’ titles indicate, the central “characters” are a piece of string and a red button. When young readers/viewers first meet the objects in Jocelyn’s opening collage, they are both “doing” what they are “supposed” to do: the string is tying up a package while the button is on a shirt. However, Jocelyn foreshadows that the string and button will not be maintaining those “traditional” pragmatic roles as a length of the string from the tied bow is seemingly making its way off the page while the red button has fallen from the shirt and is rolling towards the edge of the page. Over the next 14 collage illustrations, some single pages and others double-page spreads, the string and button are transformed. The string becomes a clothesline, a snail’s shell, a rabbit’s tail, a knit cap, spaghetti, a sheep’s fleece, a spider’s web, an owl’s eyes, lightening, the snow on a bird feeder, a bird’s nest, flower petals, waves, and the ropes for a child’s swing. The red button transforms into the cherry atop an ice cream cone, a balloon, a fire truck’s wheel, a dog’s ball, the centre of a flower, the body of an insect, an apple, a pig’s nose, a porthole on a pirate ship, a bead on a necklace, a wanna-be piece of pepperoni on a pizza, the red signal on a stoplight, a car taillight and a doorknob.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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