Story Path by Kate Baker and Madalena Matoso
|Story Path by Kate Baker and Madalena Matoso|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Follow the path and make up your own story in this wonderfully illustrated book that has the potential for over three billion tales for the right child.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: September 2016|
|Publisher: Templar Publishing|
Some books are hard to define and do not fit into a conventional genre or appeal to an easily defined audience. Who is being lured with a book with few words? Surely this is for a baby and it will help them with their basic shape comprehension or colours? However, what if this is a book with few words is designed to inspire the reader to write their own? Confusion reigns supreme, so perhaps the best thing is not to worry who the book is written for and just enjoy what it is.
As a child gets older they start to want to write their own stories as well as read those written by others, but it can be hard to know where to start, where to middle and where to end. Story Path is a unique book in that it is designed for you to create your own tale by following a different path through the book each time. You may be asked to pick a character and the page has several paths; will you choose a fairy, a robot, a monster? You decide the characters, who they meet and what they do. Each time the story could be different, it is all up to the reader to decide.
Story Path is part children's book, part writer's retreat. Kate Baker has gone out her way to create a book that will inspire the imagination of the young. The idea of a path that leads to many different places is very interesting, but could be a little scary. With no guidance a child could follow their finger all over the place and end up with a story with five main characters and no plot. Thankfully, it is here that Baker earns her dues as the writer. There is no story to be written down by her, but she does provide structure that makes the book work.
Each double spread has a new path that picks up an element of the story. Baker has designed the book so that a simple narrative will be created; page one may be the character, page two the setting, page three a person they meet, page four an action that happens. Over time a narrative of the child's own choosing is created and Baker further aids them by adding questions to flesh out their story; how does that person feel? What did the land smell like?
The nuances of Baker's structural design to the book are not the first thing that most people will notice as it is Madalena Matoso's illustrations that stand out. The book comes in a high quality A4 hardback and Matoso uses every page to great effect. The use of bold colours and clear imagery means that the paths are clear to follow. There are so many fun looking places and characters to meet. Without the much needed incentive to draw your eye to each section, Baker's idea would have fallen flat at the first hurdle.
With over 3 billion stories that can be told from this one book it is hard to pinpoint who it appeals too. The very young will be completely lost as to them it will just be a series of random images. The book is best used as an aid for fresh storytellers looking to build up their own imagination. Parents can sit with their child and use the questions in the book to prompt their child, or it could be easily handed over to an emerging reader to try on their own to also become an emerging writer. The concept of Story Path is quite an unusual one, so it will simply not work for some people. However, others will find it a springboard for a thousand new stories that they themselves made up.
Kate Baker has other educational books worth checking out.
You can read more book reviews or buy Story Path by Kate Baker and Madalena Matoso at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Story Path by Kate Baker and Madalena Matoso at Amazon.com.
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