Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: The Book of Mean People

The Book of Mean People
The Book of Mean People by Toni Morrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What constitutes a mean person? To the little bunny in this book, a mean person could be anyone-- his mom trying to make him eat peas, his teacher saying his letters are not on the lines, or his grandparents telling him to sit down and sit up at the same time. Mean people shout, but some of the meanest people whisper. The book goes on to mention that screaming people disappear when they yell, and shows an angry, yelling bunny being propelled off the page by the force of his shout, an angry word balloon that fills up most of the page. Though it goes through many of the ways people can be mean, the book does end on a high note: Triumphant yellow letters proclaiming "I WILL SMILE ANYWAY!" The next page shows text saying "How about that!" and the bunny hopping into a bunch of flowers, holding a copy of "The Book of Mean People." There is a lot of white space on the pages, and the lines of the illustrations are not straight. The action shown is often exaggerated, showing the bunnies flying around. The color palate is usually somewhat muted and washed out. Recommended for grades K-2.

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