Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tallyho, Pinkerton! by Steven Kellogg

Another wonderful Pinkerton book. More so than the other book that I reviewed, this story adds a bit of non-fiction to the mix. In several other books the little girl comes home and shares some facts that she has learned in school that day. This time, she shares information about mammals. This leads to the rest of the story, during which the little girl's homework requires her to find some different mammals and birds. As they go through the book, actual names of birds and mammals are given as well as illustrations of them so that students could maybe find them on their own. One interesting thing that happens in this book is that, while they are searching in the woods for animals, they happen upon a group of hunters. Two things that were particularly interesting here were how they were portrayed and the fact that they actually shoot at things. The hunters are shown as being mean and a little ignorant. They are snarling and wanting to shoot at any and everything that moves. I have to wonder if this is showing a bias of the author? Perhaps Steven Kellogg looks down upon hunters and their activities. Also, there are a few illustrations in which the hunters are actually shooting up into a tree, and they shoot down Pinkerton in a hot air balloon. This might actually be kind of scary for students just because it really looks like they may have hit Pinkerton. They don't, but it still looks like it would have been a definite near miss. Also, i am always surprised when guns and bullets are shown in children's books. Granted the guns featured in this book look very old fashioned, but a gun is a gun. The saving grace for me though I suppose is showing the people using the guns in a negative light.

Once again, the illustrations were very detailed, and I loved them! The age range remains the same, 4 to 8 and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! You are definitely detecting the author's perspective. I doubt a hunter would have portrayed their own group this way. You could slow down at this "hot spot" and ask your class or small group about your question. It would be a great lesson in looking at how author's beliefs influence their writing (even in books that we love!)