An innovative, two-in-one picture book follows a parallel day in the life of two families: one in a Western city and one in a North African village.
Somewhere in Sydney, Australia, a boy and his family wake up, eat breakfast, and head out for a busy day of shopping. Meanwhile, in a small village in Morocco, a boy and his family go through their own morning routines and set out to a bustling market. In this ingenious, wordless picture book, readers are invited to compare, page by page, the activities and surroundings of children in two different cultures. Their lives may at first seem quite unalike, but a closer look reveals that there are many things, some unexpected, that connect them as well. Designed to be read side by side — one from the left and the other from the right —these intriguing stories are told entirely through richly detailed collage illustrations.
Candlewick Press MA
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've become something of a wordless book junkie. I bring tons of them home for the kids and, as with other books, some hit the mark and some miss it. This one hit, but just barely.
Here's what we liked about it: The way the two stories, a life in Australia and a life in Morocco are presented, side-by-side with a similar story line, was ingenious. I love that the Moroccan story works right-to-left, just as it would were it written in Arabic, and the Australian story works left-to-right as in English. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story told through the pictures is an interesting one, to be sure.
Now my reservations: For my child, who is 4, the story line was a bit difficult to follow. It could have been the difficulty of following 2 story lines at once (he was similarly confused by Black and White, which has 4 concurrent story lines), or just the foreigness of the Moroccan story, or maybe the real issue was me and my desire for him to see the story as...
An urban household in Australia wakes up to a new day and gets ready for the usual activities of work and play. A different rural household in Morocco, a country in northern Africa, also engages in their daily rituals to get ready for the new day. The activities of both families involve traveling to work, buying and selling items in the marketplace, and relaxing together at night. But the settings in which these activities occur differ markedly, with a car-ride through congested highways to reach the hardware superstore in Australia, and a donkey-ride through the barren landscape to reach the distant outdoor market in Morocco.
Mirror uses contrasting side-by-side visual images to highlight differences in economic development and social norms in an Australian city and a remote Moroccan village. Making the book unique is the use of Arabic as well as English to communicate the narrative, as well as a stunning display of collages made with materials such as sand, clay,...
I stumbled onto this at the library and picked it up because I love the concept. The book is marked as being for kids ages 4 to 8. My older daughter is about four and a half and generally likes books above her age level. Unfortunately, however, I couldn't get her interested in this one. She really didn't understand it even with quite a bit of explanation from me. Perhaps in another year or so we'll check it out and try it again.
Anyway, the concept and the work involved are quite amazing. The book shows a day in the life of each of two families, one from Australia and one from Morocco. The Australian family's story is told on the left side of the book and is read from left to right (as in standard English), while the Moroccan family's story is told on the right side of the book and is read from right to left (as in standard Arabic). The only words are on the front covers which gives a brief explanation of the story (the left side in English, the right side in...
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