Monday, June 13, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and sixty-four

Children love to read stories where characters have what I call accidental adventures. These are adventures that happen and that are not planned. Without even meaning to, the hero finds him or herself catapulted into an adventure that is full of surprises.

Today's picture book is just such a title. What makes it special is that it is basically wordless, which makes it perfect for young children who cannot yet read on their own.

The Red ScarfAnne Villeneuve
Wordless Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tundra Books, 2010, 978-0-88776-989-4
   It is yet another gray day, and Turpin the taxi driver is off to work. He gives a lady a lift and then a gentleman, who is wearing a top hat, a long black coat, and a red scarf. Unfortunately, the gentleman leaves his scarf behind when he leaves the taxi. When Turpin sees the scarf lying on the back seat, he picks it up and runs after the gentleman.
   Turpin is about to follow the gentleman into a large colorful tent when a lizard riding a unicycle stops him. Turpin explains that he wants to return the scarf, and the lizard allows him to enter the tent. Almost as soon as he enters the tent, Turpin is almost run down by a polar bear on roller skates. Then he is eaten by a lion. Is this the end of Turpin?
   In this most wordless picture book (there are eight words at the beginning of the tale) Anne Villeneuve tells the story of a very extraordinary day in the life of a taxi driver. Children will love following Turpin’s circus tent adventures as he tries to return a piece of lost property.

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