Sunday, September 8, 2013

Silver Buttons by Bob Graham

When a new Bob Graham book arrives in my library I simply pounce on it ready to read and be amazed!

Silver Buttons is another Bob Graham masterpiece.  I have now read this book four times and each time I discover something new yet in terms of time the whole book takes places over just one minute. In this minute so many things happen.  Personal things, public things, things to rejoice over and even some things that are quite sad.  I read one review that said you should read this book, then just look at each illustration then read the book again.  I agree with this idea.

You will feel like you are looking down the lens of a camera as you read this book - panning in for a close up and then zooming out for a long view.

The story structure is a circle with Jonathan taking his first baby steps while Jodie is sitting on the lounge room floor drawing a yellow duck.  Bob Graham dedicates this book "To Rosie who drew me the duck."  I wonder what this means. Mum is in the kitchen playing her tin whistle.  Meanwhile we see the other things going on in the city over the next fourteen pages til finally Jodie calls out to mum and she comes running as Jonathan wobbles down onto his "little pink knees."

Outside children are playing, a jogger runs past, a dad ties a shoelace, a man buys bread while a soldier is embraced by his mum. In the park an old lady pushes all her possessions in an old grocery cart and a baby is born in the hospital.  There is even a global connection as we see a tanker sailing off for China.

We have nearly every book by Bob Graham in our school library and I love to read them each year to my students.  I am going to be bold and predict this book will be listed by the CBCA for the 2014 short list.  I put two different covers for this book.  Once again the US market seem to have made changes which puzzle me.

1 comment:

Brona Joy said...

I couldn't pick the difference between the 2 covers to start!

On my first reading, I felt the story should have been called The Silver Button too, but after a few more rereads I understood that Jodie had already drawn some buttons onto her duck; she was simply up to the last one at 9:59am.

Hence the plural.

I like your phrase about the story being a circle.

I just posted my review about this book tonight and I hope it wins its section.

Glad to have found your blog :-)