Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Module 10: Graphic Novels/Censorship Issues

Title:  Maus

Author: Art Spiegelman

Bibliography: Spiegelman, Art. Maus: a Survivor's Tale. New York: Pantheon, 1986. Print.

Summary: Art Spiegelman writes his own story and how he interviews his father on surviving World War II and Nazi concentration camps. 

Reviews: School Library Journal (May 1987)
YA Told with chilling realism in an unusual comic-book format, this is more than a tale of surviving the Holocaust. Spiegelman relates the effect of those events on the survivors' later years and upon the lives of the following generation. Each scene opens at the elder Spiegelman's home in Rego Park, N.Y. Art, who was born after the war, is visiting his father, Vladek, to record his experiences in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Nazis, portrayed as cats, gradually introduce increasingly repressive measures, until the Jews, drawn as mice, are systematically hunted and herded toward the Final Solution. Vladek saves himself and his wife by a combination of luck and wits, all the time enduring the torment of hunted outcast. The other theme of this book is Art's troubled adjustment to life as he, too, bears the burden of his parents' experiences. This is a complex book. It relates events which young adults, as the future architects of society, must confront, and their interest is sure to be caught by the skillful graphics and suspenseful unfolding of the story. Rita G. Keeler, St. John's School , Houston

Impressions: Absolutely loved this story, thought it was different, considering it was a true story where the author illustrated himself as a mouse. The story tells about the author interviewing his father about surviving concentration camps and World War II. I thought this was a great book for older students and adults.

Activities:This would be a good further study for a student to read to learn about personal experiences of World War II and concentration camps.

Title:  Draw Me a Star

Author: Eric Carle

Bibliography: Carle, Eric. Draw Me a Star. New York: Philomel, 1992. Print.

Summary: The illustrator of the book creates a world for a young boy, starting with a star, a sun, tree, world, people, etc. A different turn on the creation of the world. 

Reviews: School Library Journal (October 1992)
K-Gr 4-- A young boy is told (readers are not sure by whom) to ``Draw me a star.'' The star then requests that the boy draw it a sun; the sun asks for a ``lovely tree,'' and throughout his life the boy/man/artist continues to create images that fill the world with beauty. The moon bids the now-elderly artist to draw another star, and as the story ends, the artist travels ``across the night sky'' hand-in-hand with the star. This book will appeal to readers of all ages; its stunning illustrations, spare text, and simple story line make it a good choice for story hour; but older children will also find it uplifting and meaningful. Especially pleasing is a diagram within the story, accompanied by rhyming instructions on how to draw a star: ``Down/ over/ left/ and right/ draw/ a star/ oh so/ bright.'' An inspired book in every sense of the word.-- Eve Larkin, Middleton Public Library , WI

Impressions: As familiar as I am with Eric Carle's other books, I was very disappointed in this one. Having a love for The Hungry Catepillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, I was actually surprised at this book and the illustrations. While the story was ok (not as good as Carle's other works), the illustrations of the man and woman were a little too revealing for a children's book.

Activities: A good book for young elementary age (kindergarten) to use as an introductory story on nature and the world. You could also read this book to a group of small children and teach them how to draw stars, perhaps to start a unit on space.

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