Style & tone in children’s Books • Elaine Cardenas • Library 732 • July 9, 2011
IMAGERY • All the Places to Love • by • Patricia Maclachlan • Maclachlan describes beautifully everyone’s favorite spot on the farm. • “My grandmother loved the river best • of all the places to love. • That sound, like a whisper, she said; • Gathering in pools • Where trout flashed like jewels in the sunlight. • Grandmother sailed little bark boats downriver to me • With messages • I love you Eli, one said.
Figurative language Personification • Diary of a Worm • by Doreen Cronin • Duck for President • by Doreen Cronin • Click, Clack, Moo • Cows that Type • by Doreen Cronin • In all of the above stories Doreen Cronin uses personification. The humor in her stories comes from animals who are personified. They all do things humans would normally do such writing diaries or typing on a typewriter.
Figurative languageSimilie • A Long Way from Chicago • by Richard Peck • Peck’s writing is liberally sprinkled with similies for comparison purposes: • bald as an egg (p. 50) • we’d been working like a whole pack of bird dogs (p. 52) • he smelled like a polecat (p. 6) • ugly as sin, calls herself Wilcox? (p. 9)
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown Margaret Wise Brown uses metaphors for comparison purposes in The Runaway Bunny. “If you are a gardner and find me,” said the little bunny, “I will be a bird and fly away from you.” If you become a bird and fly away from me,” said his mother, “I will be a tree that you come home to.” Figurative language metaphor
Hyperbole • Chicks and Salsa • by Aaron Reynolds • Reynolds uses hyperbole to create humor in Chicks and Salsa. • In this story the chickens are tired of eating chicken feed. While watching TV through the open farm window, the rooster discovers the solution to the food problem. He helps organize the chickens to gather ingredients and then make salsa. The story continues with the ducks making guacamole, the pigs making nachos and the bull dancing the Mexican hat dance.
Allusion • Porkenstein • by Kathryn Lasky • In order to understand Porkenstein, one must be familiar with the story of Frankenstein. Like Frankenstein, Porkenstein is a mistake. Dr. Pig is lonely because the wolf ate his brothers. He is trying to create a pig friend to keep him company. His experiment goes awry, and he creates Porkenstein,the biggest pig he had ever seen! When Porkenstein has eaten everything in the house including the trash and trash can, Dr. Pig realizes, “I’ve-I’ve-created a monster!”
Alliteration • Animalia • by Graeme Base • Animalia is alliteration. Base goes through each letter of the alphabet using alliteration. • “Diabolical Dragons Daintily Devouring Delicious Delicacies. “ • “Eight Enormous Elephants Expertly Eating Easter Eggs”.
Assonance • Pick a Pup • by Marshal Chall • Chall uses assonance in Pick a Pup for a playful tone. Sam is going to the shelter to pick a pup for his very own. He’s wondering what kind of a pup he’ll get. • “Eeny, meeny, miney, pup, • which teeny-weeny, tiny pup?” • Will his pup be like: • “Mrs. Well’s sit-in-your-lap dog, • likes to take-a-nap dog, • hardly makes-a-peep dog, • mostly-sound-asleep dog.”
consonance • The Grim Grotto • by Lemony Snicket • In The Grim Grotto the unfortunate • Baudelaire children find themselves floating down a river on a toboggan. Snicket uses consonance to give the impression of a current moving downstream and occasionally getting hung up on an obstacle. • “Rushing water” and “stricken stream”
rhythm • Rattlebone Rock • by Sylvia Andrews • There’s no way to avoid toe-tapping with Sylvia Jones Rattlebone Rock. The rhythm is what makes the story. • “Skeletons danced “Ghosts swayed in line • And pranced around. To the beat of the bones • They rattled their bones And jazzed up the sound • With a rhythmic sound. With musical moans. • Clacka-clack! Ooooa-ooo! • Clacka-clack!” Boooa-boo!
Tone • The BFG • by Roald Dahl • The light-hearted, fun tone of the BFG is created by Dahl’s usage and choice of words. Dahl plays with language creating a whimsical story that makes us smile. The BFG eats disgusting snozcumbers to survive. He drinks frobscottle and suffers fromwhizzpoppers. The giants that aren’t friendly have names like “The Childchewer, The Fleshlumpeater, and the Gizzardgulper” Dahl explains how each giant has a favorite hunting ground, because all humans taste different. According to the giants people from Wales taste like fish (as in whale), people from Sweden taste sweet and sour, and people from Greece taste greasy. Not only is Dahl’s sense of humor readily apparent in The BFG, it’s contagious!
tonehumor • A Year Down Yonder • by Richard Peck • “Shotgun Cheatham’s Last Night Above Ground” is a terrific example of Peck’s ability to engage his readers with humor. In this story Grandma Dowdel blatantly lies to a nosey reporter regarding Shotgun Cheatham’s life just because she hates people poking into other people’s business. She tells the reporter that Shotgun was given his name by U.S. Grant. She invites the reporter to come to her house because Shotgun will be buried from her house with honors. Sometime during the night while they are all sitting watch during the wake, something surprising happens. • “The gauze that hung down over the open coffin moved. Twitched. . .Then the gauze rippled as if a hand had passed across it from the other side, and in one place it wrinkled into a wad as if somebody had snagged it. As if a feeble hand had reached up from the coffin depths in one last desperate attempt to live before the dirt was shoveled in. “ Grandma grabbed her shotgun and shot at the gauze. The reporter jumped out the side window. “He went out a side window, headfirst leaving his hat and his notepad behind. Which he feared more, the living dead or Grandma’s aim, he didn’t tarry to tell. Mrs. Wilcox was on her feet, hollering, “The dead is walking, and Mrs. Dowdel’s gunning for me!”. . .”A burned-powder haze hung int he room, butting the smell of Shotgun Cheatham. The white gauze was black rags now, and Grandma had blown the lid clear off the coffin. She’d have blown out all three windows in the bay, except they were open. As it was, she’d pitted her woodwork bad and topped the snowball bushes outside.”