Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Deconstructing Penguins

by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone (2005)

As one who has loved books all my life (thank you, Mother!) I am regretfully weak in the whole theme/subtext/metaphor/etc. angle of reading.  I've always been more of an "enjoy the story" kind of guy, which led to much embarrassment in college courses when I repeatedly failed to catch important foreshadowing clues or understand what the author was really saying.

This book is one I will keep on my desk.  I suppose I can't only teach the books the Goldstones talk about, but they give clear, usable examples, especially of protagonist vs antagonist and the authors' reasons for writing what they do, which should help students (and me) build a critical eye.  Books they discuss include Charlotte's Web, Babe, Phantom Tollbooth, The View From Saturday, Animal Farm, and The Giver (most of which I've popped straight to the top of the Library Request list)...

Now if only someone could explain The Giving Tree to me...

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