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The Tunnel, By Anthony Browne. Book Review

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Adam Thompson

on 28 October 2014

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Transcript of The Tunnel, By Anthony Browne. Book Review

The Tunnel
The Tunnel is a surreal picture book written and illustrated by renowned author, Anthony Browne, creator of the popular book “Gorilla”. The Tunnel depicts the common theme of sibling rivalry and also the inner fears of a child’s imagination. It features two main characters, siblings Rose and Jack.
The Story
The story follows the two going for a walk after having an argument; soon Jack discovers a tunnel which he crawls through alone. After waiting for Jack return, Rose builds up the courage to crawl through the “damp and slimy” tunnel to find him. She enters a world where everything slowly goes from pleasant to dark and scary. She eventually finds her brother who has been turned to stone. She hugs him and he slowly returns to normal. The experience bonds the two as they return home smiling at one another when the mum asks if everything is alright.
The tunnel makes use of different sentence structures and literary tools. It uses complex sentences but also makes use of compound sentences, all of which were organized neatly.
A trait that children can sympathize
with is one that comes from between
Rose and Jack and that is sibling rivalry. Even if children don’t have siblings they can easily have this connection with other relatives or friends.

The main problem that Rose faces in this book is conquering her fears to save her brother, this is something students can relate to. That they need to conquer their fear in life to achieve the outcomes they desire.

The Tunnel, By Anthony Browne. Book Review
Literary Tools
An array of literary tools was used including alliteration. “
The sister stayed inside on her own, reading and daydreaming. The brother played outside with his friends, laughing and shouting, throwing and kicking, roughing and tumbling.
” Here Browne has used alliteration in the sentence with the words that end with ing. Alliteration is used here to describe how the characters act and behave.

The tunnel was dark, and damp, and slimy, and scary.
” Here the writer has employed the use of tone, instead of describing how Rose feels emotionally, he describes the surroundings to submerge the reader into what it feels like and thus sets the mood for a moment of discomfort and fear.
Literary Tools
Literary Tools
“There was a figure, still as stone.
” Simile is used here to describe the object as something else. In which case is her brother who has literally turned to stone.
How does Brown entice viewers to
read this book?

Once upon a time there lived a sister and a brother
who were not at all alike. In every way they were different.
” With the opening sentence of the book it immediately makes a statement about the two characters, although it is not a direct question it does make the reader question
why they not alike and want to progress to the next page.

ust when she knew she could run no further, she came to a clearing. There was a figure, still as stone. It was her brother. “Oh no!” she sobbed. “I’m too late
.”” The Tunnel is an interesting story all the way through, but it is here at the climax that compels readers to continue on and see
what happens to Jack.

The front cover
The front cover of the book which illustrates Rose going into the tunnel immediately depicts the element of exploration into the unknown. The tunnel appears dark and mysterious and references directly to the story’s title. Also there is an open children’s book which gives off an element of fantasy and make believe, this relates to Rose’s imagination that constantly haunts her throughout the book
when she is scared.
Anthony Browne uses very detailed
illustrations that are all hand drawn. The
drawings are all in color and range from
dark and dim lighting to bright and
colorful images. Aside from the first picture
of Rose the majority of the illustrations
are done from a medium to far away
distance, mainly to incorporate the detail
of the background and surroundings.
I feel this image really depicts
the relationship between the
brother and sister and is vital to explaining
how fearful Rose really is and how tormenting
Jack can be towards her. One important element is how easily normal object can be turned into scary illusions based on Rose’s imagination; this becomes a common occurrence throughout the book. Another element is the portrayal of Jack’s nature towards Rose, something that compels the story’s main plot in the next few pages.
As said before, Anthony Browne
uses the element of fearfulness and
imagination. The two images here are
examples of that as normal trees become
twisted into scary fairy tale creatures based on Rose’s imagination. The majority of the book’s
setting is based off the illusions based on the inner fears that Rose harbors. Perhaps this element implies that we are really seeing everything from Rose’s point of view and that Jack has not been turned to stone, she is merely imagining it.
The mood of the story is an
important element and can be
determined by the choice of color
and lighting of the pages. When the
mood is positive the colors are
vibrant and bright. But as the story
becomes scarier, darker and duller
colors are used with less light.
The main character in the
book is Rose with Jack still playing an important role. Rose is depicted as being a fearful person, this is evident through the text when Jack enters the tunnel, “”N-no you, must not,” she said. “There might be witches…or goblins… or anything down there.”” Although fearful, Rose is none the less a sweet, kind and determined person. We get a glimpse of this immediately in the first drawing of her. However it is not her image
that portrays this but the background. Behind her
is a wall of flowers which highlight her as
a nice person.
Overall The Tunnel a very
intriguing book which I would
highly recommend to young
readers, it provides wonderful
illustrations which are
complemented by impressive
textual features that will
entice young viewers.
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