Book Review: Just A Daydream By Mercer Mayer

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Molly Bang Paper When thinking of this assignment, I immediately knew which book I was going to choose. I felt that choosing a favorite book from my childhood could be a fun way to see the differences in how I viewed it then, and how I might view it today. As a child, I was in love with Mercer Mayer’s “Little Critter” books (and still am today). I decided not to go searching for an easy or popular book, rather I wanted to take one I know and love and see if/how Molly Bang’s principles were applied. I chose to compare two pictures in the story “Just a Daydream” by Mercer Mayer. The first picture is of Little Critter on the ground crying after a bully had pushed him down. The second picture was of Little Critter’s daydream of what he would do to the bully if he were a super hero. The first thing I noticed were the colors each character was wearing. In every book, Little Critter wears blue overalls. The color blue conveys sweet, nice, calm, and pure. In this book, the bully is wearing red clothes. Red often conveys madness, anger, and strength. Molly Bang says that color’s effect on us is stronger than that of other picture elements. The color that characters wear in books, movies, television shows, etc., is always one of the first elements that I notice because it’s almost always intended – those colors were chosen for a reason. …show more content…
In the first image we see that Little Critter is vulnerable to the bully and is placed sitting on the ground (after being pushed) below the bully. The bully stands above him taking a position that Molly might describe as “top man on the totem pole”. But once Little Critter imagines himself as a superhero taking over the bully, the placements are completely different. The second image shows the bully smaller and farther away in a vulnerable position seeming “overwhelmed by the situation”. He is placed towards the bottom of the page signifying “sadness or failure” according to Molly. What Mercer Mayer has done with the bully here can be compared to what Molly Bang did with the red triangle as Little Red Riding Hood: she made the triangle smaller to imply some threat in her environment. Just as the bully is made smaller to seem farther away from us, we can understand when Molly states that “when we are little, we are weaker and can’t defend ourselves as well in a physical fight”. Something I also noticed is the slight lean of the tress which signifies a feeling of tension for the bully (considering he is stranded on top of a tree!). As readers, we now know that Little Critter has more control with his superhero powers. He is placed larger and closer towards the upper half of the page. Molly Bang tells us that placing a character in the upper area of a picture gives him or her, a “stronger tactical position” and shows that he is “feeling happy and has done well”. Because Little Critter is drawn larger and closer to the reader, he seems more “capable of physically overpowering an

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