Owen

Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes 1993

Alyson Wang 402110049

Picture Books Literature and Pedagogy – Dr. Yang

Journal 3

Introduction


Kevin Henkes was born in 1960 in Wisconsin, He was greatly inspired by visiting a local art museum. In 1986, Henkes’ picture book profile grew a bit larger, but the most famous of them is Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Henkes portrayed the main characters Lily, Chester, Julius, etc. in a daily but intriguing way. Each of them has their own personalities, interests, and hobbies. His contribution to children’s literature was honored by Catholic Library Association. Without a doubt, Henkes had made a significant impact on children’s literature.

Reflection

It seems that Owen is a weirdo in people’s eyes, since he kept carrying his ratty yellow blanket, Fuzzy. However, when we were young, didn’t we have some wild thoughts or behaviors? It is because in children’s mind, imagination is full of kids’ life. They like to try new things and have their own possessions. Take me as an example, I used to have a Christmas Snoopy doll when I was little, and I would carry it wherever I went. It looked old and a bit ratty because it was bought many years ago. However, I still liked it and played with it every day. It was a part of my life. So I didn’t think I was strange due to the ratty doll.

In this picture book, the characters’ personalities were all obviously presented: Owen always clung to his decision; Owen’s mother and father were persuaded by Mrs. Tweezers and tried their best to change Owen’s mind; Mrs. Tweezers tried to persuade Owen’s parents not to let him bring Fuzzy. Therefore, when reading the story, I could quickly distinguish who the characters are. The daily story might also happen in our life.



Speaking of the illustration, the colorful paintings appeal me and the characters’ facial expressions are vivid. We can see they’re happy because they are smiling; they are confused as they frown. Besides, the words are not so difficult for children to learn. There are also dialogues which make the story more interactive with the audience. Also, there are many short sentences describing what Owen did: He carried it. And wore it. And dragged it. He sucked it. And hugged it. And twisted it. or Snip, snip, snip. Sew, sew, sew. “Dry your eyes.” “Wipe your nose.” Hooray, hooray, hooray! I think they are very adorable! If this story can be applied in teaching, students can do the role-play and act the characters out. All in all, it is really a picture book for children to have a lot of fun with!