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Transcript of Emma Mahon
Early Childhood Literature
- ESH151 Children's Literature Studies -
This narrative is written as an allegory in a similar way to native oral storytelling, using soft, melodic rhythms. Marsden has incorporated traditional Aboriginal English in sentences such as "the rabbits came many grandparents ago".
It is told in second person from the perspective of the colonised, the Tree Dwellers. The sentences are short and clipped and are full of descriptive and adjectival language. This works effectively to create imagery “the land is bare and brown and the wind blows empty across the plain”
The text is used sparingly and to convey the speed of the colonisation, Marsden used repetition to place emphasis through sentences such as “rabbits, rabbits, rabbits, millions of rabbits, everywhere we looks rabbits”.
As a picture book, the themes and subjects that are delved into in this book is in-depth, complex and controversial..which makes this book ideal for use in a classroom!! The text offers a different viewpoint on the 'settlement' of Australia by the Europeans than what is normally portrayed. The obvious theme contained in this text is of the colonisation, but there are the underlying themes of the environmental and cultural destruction as well that comes as a result of the modernisation and the industrialisation of urban development.
The reference to the Stolen Generation is obvious and the double-page spread is heartbreaking. The little natives are standing in a line, and one by one, they are transported and sent off alone. No doubt that all the while their invaders are thinking that this is the best outcome for all and will give the little one's the best opportunity for the future. Without a conclusion at the end, there are more questions and a cry out from the conquered...Who will save us from the Rabbits?
- Year 8 -
Other than the dustcover, there are no illustrations throughout this text. This is quite standard amongst Young Adult literature, but is something that is slowly changing through the recognition that illustrations allow for deeper meaning and understanding of the storyline, theme and substory (National Library of New Zealand, n.d.).
The fact that there are no visual illustrations in this text means there are no visual cues to assist in reader comprehension and meaning making: the reader must be fully fluent in order to be able to effectively make mind-images and imaginations through Bauer’s words only.
The cover illustration is of a black and white dog looking out at the reader. The red writing combines effectively with the black love heart to create a mood of emotion. Mr Mosely is a normal, everyday, suburban dog and the back dustcover with the black and leather studded collar reinforces this. He is the dog that every reader has had and it is easy to relate and be drawn in from this image alone.
Looking at this text from a critical literacy viewpoint, it is possible to examine the author’s intentions. Bauer has created an example of what would be considered a working class, suburban Australian family and included many themes. There are typical Australian colloquialisms throughout the story including the use of pig sty (p.56) and sharpest tool in the shed (p.57). While these terms would be readily understood by most, some may not be aware of these terms and would need to use a form of meta-cognitive strategies in order to draw meaning and understanding.
From the first chapter of the book with the Praying Mantis, the author mounts the story to be aimed at a young adult male, however through the introduction of his sisters, similarly young females are incorporated into the target audience.
The understory in the text is multi-themed and covers many topics including growing up, lose, death, violence, marital discourse, abduction and infidelity. These themes are understated rather than explicit and each reader will identify and interpret differently depending on their own developmental level and personal experiences.
- Year 6 -
In Chapter 14 & 15, Mr Mosely disappeared for two weeks.
Students are to use a narrative format of a fairytale to create an original story of Mr Mosely's adventure, combining the use of all the elements of a short story
ACELT1618 - Create literary texts that adapt or combine aspects of texts students have experienced in innovative ways
Early Adolescent Literature
ACELA1543 – Analayse how the text structures and language features of persuasive texts, including media texts, vary according to the medium and mode of communication
Task: Students are to choose a particular time and view point from the text to write a letter to the editor of the local BrisVegas Newspaper. The writer will take a persuasive stance and use appropriate vocabulary related to the topic and emotive language to persuade and create an identifiable position that is organised logically and flows fluently.
EXAMPLES & IDEAS
Timepoint: During the colonisation and building of the Rabbits Civilisation.
Overview: As a newly arrived Rabbit, I feel that the current development of the city is exordinary and can see why other Rabbits back home call this Wonder Town. I don’t understand why the others do not feel the same way and would encourage all to try and experience Wonder Town!
- EXAMPLES & IDEA -
Timepoint: Destruction of waterhole
Overview: As a proud Egret, my family has lived at this same location for generations. Now, regardless of the previous recognition of it being a special, untouched place, the Rabbits has destroyed my beautiful home. I am now a refugee and have to move my family to find another home. With no knowledge of where we are going or what will happen, this is a devastating time and no-one seems to care or be able to offer any help.
This text is written as a journal entry and is a realistic representation of a young boy’s writing style, including the grammatical anomalies (“mum and me got in the car, p.62) and easily distracted side points. Bauer uses short sentences that are quite forward and straight to the point and effectively represents the protagonist Corey Ingram. Gradually as the story develops the writing becomes more sophisticated and complex and you can see the emotional development of Corey.
Primary Children's Literature
Clancy the Couraegous Cow
This story has a wide range of language features that appeal to the targeted age group. Alliteration is used both within the title of the book, being a repeated ‘C’ sound, but also throughout the book when describing the cows as ‘big and bossy’.
Personification is used throughout as main character of the story, Clancy, shows human emotions and thoughts. This allows the reader to be drawn into the story and understand the feelings and emotions of Clancy.
One of the unique language features of this text is the original wrestling moves used by the cows in the wrestling competition including the ‘helicowpter’, the cud cruncher and the cow whisperer.
The visual illustrations of this story are colourful,
simplistic and quite childlike in their design. There is
a great deal of symbolism throughout the book,
including the use of the river to act as a divide
between Clancy and the other cows of his herd, and that of the other herd.
The personification that is displayed in the text is also seen in the images, such as when the wrestling competition is happening and one of the cows is acting as the referee.
The colours of the illustrations work to further enforce the feelings that Clancy has at the start of the story compared to the end: the blue of the sky at the end of the book is much brighter and more vibrant that at the beginning of the book, which was a darker, stormy blue.
At twelve years old, the author has created a story about exclusion and individual differences that is deceptively complex. Clancy tried time after time without success to fake a white belt and become a real Belted Galloway. In our own way, everyone has as times pretended to be someone or something other than what they are. This may work for a time, but just like Clancy, the rain will come and wash away the charade and we are left with our self just as we are, once again. This story allows younger readers to recognise the relevance of the storyline in their own lives and positions them to explore similar situations and how they would react.
This story can be used as a vehicle to allow the reader the opportunity to look at their own self and ask the question: What makes me uniquely me? The exploration of this idea will further reinforce the individualistic differences that make a group of people.
- Year 2 -
After reading the story a discussion is held with the students on whether it was right or wrong for Clancy to have gone into the Herefords paddock at night to eat the grass. Using the whiteboard to record the vocabulary the students use to consider this situation, the group is then divided into two. One group is of the opinion that it was right for Clancy to enter the paddock and the other group is taking the view that it was wrong. Each group is to work together (with the assistance of Teacher and Teacher Aid) to create and present orally a short presentation of their view on why it was right or wrong.
ACELA1462 - Identify language that can be used for appreciating texts and the qualities of people and things
There is a high level of integration between the text and visual features, and the illustrations extend the written storyline of this text dramatically. At first Tan uses vertical high angles that are positioned further back: this gives the read a sense that the others, the Tree Dwellers, are looking at the scene from afar. As the story progresses the viewpoint become frontal, and this signifies the involvement between the two.
The Rabbits, dressed up with their high collars, dark suits, hats and monocles standing in front of a similarly designed ship give the impression of being almost mechanical with the sharp angular design which is in distinct contrast to the environment which has soft, natural features.
The colours that Tan uses change dramatically from the beginning of the story to the end. The colours are bold and bright at the beginning, appearing fresh however as the story progresses and the rabbits overtake the land the colours begin to appear dark and gloomy. The negative effect on the environment is seen as the fish in the waterhole die in barren, polluted water.