Thursday, March 26, 2009

How a Book is Made

Front Cover

by Aliki

Themes: books; authors; illustrators; color; creativity;
writing; patience; reading

Gr 2-5 In response to the question, ``Who made this book?,'' the eight cats pictured on the back jacket answer in unison, ``We all did!'' In only 32 pages, Aliki explains their participation in this venture, from the author's inspiration through the presentation of a copy of the completed book to a grateful child. Aliki's publishing company is in a world populated by cats, cats in fancy dress whose individual looks and personalities are representative of a wide spectrum of people. Her lucid explanation of the bookmaking process is clearer than, but every bit as accurate as, many explanations written for adults. Younger children will be satisfied with the charming pictures and the basic picture book text, which identifies the various stages in the business of publishing books. Older or better readers, and those doing research, will find the more detailed explanations, set in smaller type within the frames of the illustrations, to be particularly worthwhile. All ages will be captivated by the dialogue balloons within the softly colored mixed media illustrations (colored pencil and watercolor), which add some humor and give the book personality. A calendar, unobtrusively placed in many of the illustrations, supplies a time frame for each step. No other author has explained the complicated process of creating a book to such a young audience. Even those readers for whom the technical aspects of book production are too difficult to grasp will appreciate the love and hard work that go into the creation of a book. Bound to please, this book marks a high spot in informational writing for children. David Gale, ``School Library Journal''

Copyright 1986 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

With thoroughness, Aliki shows how the author gets the idea,
the idea gets written down, the publisher decides to publish,
and the book gets made as well as sold, allowing the reader
to follow the process every step of the way.
The information is conveyed in a two-level method,
with the main story in larger type
and the more detailed nuts and bolts in smaller type,
but what nuts and bolts they are!
You can learn all you want to know
about the mechanics of publishing a book here,
making this an excellent book to use with writers, young and old.

Valerie & Walter's
Best Books for Children, 2004

By Aliki, her nonfiction

Communication, Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians,
Digging Up Dinosaurs, Milk from Cow to Carton,
My Visit to the Aquarium, How a Book is Made

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