I am so glad I waited until Book Week to share this book across my school. Perhaps I had a premonition that it would be the winner. Every time we read this book to our classes the children made more and more discoveries. It is now clear that this book is best looked at in conjunction with the two predecessors – The Boy, the bear, the Baron and the Bard and Midsummer Knight It should also be looked at in conjunction with the art of Vermeer and Van Eyck. You can read more at in the teacher notes.
I think children from Grades 2 thought to Grade 6 all found something to relate to in this book - from the bullies chasing our little hero, to the integration of famous art and the wonderful changes of perspective as Gregory Rogers reveals each scene. We also had some interesting discussions about vocabulary – our youngest children asked about china (the special plates of Delft are smashed) and the word butcher! Not one child questioned the lack of printed text though, as our love of Leaf by Stephen Michael King from the CBCA awards last year showed every child books can tell stories even without words!
Reading The Hero of Little Street was made so much easier in our school library because we were able to use the ebook and this new medium also lead to to excellent discussions amongst the students as to the value and purpose of ebooks!
Among my favourite textless picture books are by Peter Collington The tooth fairy, The small miracle, The Angel and the Solider boy and all of these are once again sadly out of print. I would love a copy of The Angel and the Solider boy for my collection. I also love Sunshine by Jan Ormerod. Whenever I put on tights, and layers of skivvies on cool winter mornings I think of the early scenes in Sunshine when the little girl puts on so many layers of warm clothes.
Look for a copy of The Hero of Little Street in your library - it will now have a special GOLD sticker to show it is the winner for 2010 of the Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year award.