Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude

Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude by Jonah Winter


Go ahead and call it a children’s picture book, but I think you are wrong; the children I read this book to looked at me in bewilderment. It looks like a picture book. It reads like a picture book. But reading it to young children is like asking junior high students to read Great Expectations; it can be read, but it should be saved for those old enough to really appreciate it.

I loved it. It would probably be among my top picks for best nonfiction picture book. It’s bright and colorful. The text mimics the style of the subject, poet Gertrude Stein. It’s funny.

As Gertrude Stein might say, A picture book is a picture book is a picture book is a picture book. But sometimes it’s not.

A Sample:

“Talk talk talk talk. Laugh laugh. More talk.

Laugh. Okay. Enough.

And now it’s time for tea.

Teatime is teatime.

And look who’s here,

in time for tea.

It’s Pablo Picasso the Spanish artist.

Pablo Picasso looks so angry but no.

Pablo Picasso is Pablo


He just invented Modern art

which is not the same thing as being angry

but then again maybe it is.

Maybe it is

and maybe it isn’t.

Then again maybe it is.

It’s so hard to invent

Modern art.

Maybe it is


maybe it isn’t.


Children’s Comments:

Sydney, 6, said, "Never want to read. It's wacky."

Vanessa, 6, said, "It's weird because they have a dog named Basket."

Joey, 6, said, "The title was weird."

Jony, 6, said, "The bear was in a chair!"

Children’s Ratings: 3, 1, 4, 1, 3, 4, 5, 2

1 comment:

  1. it sounds like it might be fun to teach from or to discuss with a group of children. it might be fun for my library! :-)


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