Analysis of the picture book Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

Analysis of the picture book Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall. Read the book straight through once, and jot down your first impressions: What’s the book about? What makes it pleasurable to read? What themes or ideas are most prominent? What does the book mean?

Analysis of the picture book Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

Read the book straight through once, and jot down your first impressions:

Firstly, what’s the book about?

Secondly, what makes it pleasurable to read?

Thirdly, What themes or ideas are most prominent?

Fourthly, What does the book mean?

Read it again, aloud. This time, look only at the language. Do you notice any patterns of language, any poetic elements, and any characteristics of oral literature? Does the language tell the written story on its own, or does it rely on illustrations to add meaning? Find specific examples.

Read it again. This time, look only at the illustrations. What illustrative techniques do you notice? (Line, colour, space, layout, etc.) What choices has the illustrator made? Do the illustrations tell the story on their own, or could you make up an entirely different story based just on the pictures? Find specific examples where the words and pictures must work together (or in opposition) to create meaning.

Read it again.

This time, think about the book as a physical object. How do page turns affect your reading experience? What about the cover and front and back matter? Is there anything about the size of the book or its shape that influences your reading experience? Think too about layout in relation to the book as object – how much white space is used, and to what effect? Where are illustrations located on the page?

After multiple readings and notes, think about what aspects of this book are most important to its meaning. In three pages, you can’t and don’t want to explain all the elements! Choose the elements you think are most significant to your particular book: What distinct combination of elements work together to make this specific picture book work? How do the elements enhance the book’s meaning?

Remember:
Your paper should be an essay about the conclusions you reach after reading and re-reading it, not a play-by-play description of your reading process. After you read and reread and take careful notes, the last (most important) step is developing in writing an evidence-based analysis of what the book means and how the writer/illustrator went about creating that meaning.

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