A Picture Book Review: Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne

It was not my intention to review a picture book on my blog…however! I have just studied this book as part of one of my courses and was so surprised by it that I thought it deserved a quick comment.


If you haven’t come across this book (which I hadn’t until now) it is a beautifully illustrated story about four people (or should I say gorillas) that go to the park, we then see the day differently through each of the four characters. At least that is what it seems to be on the surface. But what I found genuinely surprising was the level of complexity in the book. It deals with a number of adult concerns such as unemployment and social class. It also manages to convey a myriad of emotions through pictures, colour and shade each used to create mood and atmosphere. There is plenty of intertexuality and postmodernist techniques at work here and I enjoyed more than anything, exploring the way in which he plays with different forms for effect.

If you have a young child (or you enjoy picture books) I urge you to go out and get this book! It manages to say so much about so little.

Perhaps I’m over analysing! I have dissected every inch of this book for my study. However what I will say is that if I was to create a picture book, this would be it!

‘If you’re brave to say ‘Goodbye’, life will reward you with a ‘Hello’.’

        – Paul Coelho


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