For today’s Marvelous New Picture Book, I decided to review the book I Like, I Don’t Like by Anna Baccelliere. This was a short, simple, but meaningful read.
It was an extremely simplistic book in terms of language, the entire book was simply made up of the phrases “I like..” and “I don’t like..” but the images gave a deeper meaning beyond a simple preference in items. For example, from the first page, you can start to ge an idea of what kind of book this is.
The first image depicts a young girl, playing with some slightly oversized shoes with a smile on her face, while the second depicts a girl cleaning a gigantic shoe with none on her own feet and a tired expression. Although the second image is slightly exaggerated, these two pages show how two children of the same age could be thinking entirely different things. For the girl on the left, shoes are just another part of her dress-up, something from her mom’s closet that she can take out when she’s playing pretend. For the girl on the right, shoes are what she has to deal with to survive, shoes signify work, rather than play.
The book continues to follow this format with several other scenarios. Although the first set of photos depicts two girls with similar but different objects, there are several parallels between objects that some children are enjoying while being the product of another child’s labor.
It also shows some parallels between what some children may consider for when thinking about same word. For example, the page about bricks showed both Lego bricks and red bricks, showing not only the difference between playing and working, but even how the same term could be understood differently by different kids.
The art for this book was done by a team of two people, and I really loved how creative they were with the art. Everything that was depicted was really clear, and gave vision to the simple phrases that the book consisted of. Additionally, the very realistic faces for the children made it more impactful because it seemed all that more real.
The last page is pretty straightforward, showing a boy with a toy hammer and his little tool set looking towards a boy who’s holding a real hammer and helping to fix a real vehicle. It’s striking because the boys are dressed in similar colors, in similar poses, and holding similar looking tools, but are in radically different situations.
One final thing I really enjoyed about this book is that the author provides information about child labor as well as mentioning organizations that people can refer to in order to help make a change.
Although there aren’t that many words, there are so many conversations to be had with this book, and the immaculate details make it a good read to have a discussion with.
I think that this kind of book is important to read with children because child labor is a topic that isn’t really discussed, even amongst adults. It’s important to realize that not all children around the world get a good childhood, and by informing the children of today that these sorts of things are still happening, it encourages them to make change for the children of tomorrow.