Monday, January 17, 2011

Brave Jack and the Unicorn by Janet McNaughton

Brave Jack and the UnicornOn her website Janet McNaughton says that although her book Brave Jack and the Unicorn is classified as a picture book it is not intended for young children who haven't learned to read because the story and the vocabulary are too complex and advanced.  Inspite of that, however, Anna enjoyed this book, more so than I did, actually.

In the story an old lady has three sons: one who's handsome, one who's clever, and one who seems to be no good for anything, but is very kindhearted.  The kindhearted son goes through a series of circumstances that shows his true worth.  The story reminded me of Grimms Fairy Tale The Golden Goose.

I hate to admit this but I am not a fan of fairy tales.  It seems, however, that Anna enjoys fairy tales so I bite the bullet and read her a fairy tale once in a while.  While I didn't particularly enjoy the story in this book I didn't hate it and I grew to appreciate the book more when I took a closer look at it and also when I found the author's website.

The illustrations in Brave Jack and the Unicorn are by Susan Tooke and are of 15 different locations in Newfoundland and Labrador.  There is a list of these locations in the beginning of the book.  One complaint I have about the book is that the page numbers are not on the pages, making it a bit of a pain to find a particular page.  You can actually see some selected illustrations from the book on Susan Tooke's webpage.

On Janet McNaughton's website is a page devoted to sharing information about the inspiration behind Brave Jack and the Unicorn.  It's also interesting to read about how she decided to include an iceberg and a Newfoundland Pony, two things Newfoundland is famous for, in the story.

This book would be a great resource in a study of Newfoundland and Labrador.  One thing you could do is  use the different illustrations to learn about different places in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Janet McNaughton actually suggests this, along with other things, on the Brave Jack Teacher's Resource page on her website.

I definitely see us revisiting this book again in a few years time, if not even before then.

2 comments:

  1. I will have to check it out! Great review ;-)

    http://stjohnsmom.blogspot.com/

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