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Jemmy Button

Jemmy Button

RRP: £99
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I spotted this at the library and thought it would make for a fun pairing with another book I’m reading, This Thing of Darkness, a chunky novel about Captain Robert FitzRoy’s expeditions to Tierra del Fuego (on one of which he was accompanied by Charles Darwin on the Beagle). The picture book text says O'run-del'lico was "invited" to visit England, which may or may not have been the case. Stunning and brilliant illustrations, hands down but as I was perusing the visual work it hit me how sad and tragic the story actually is, and that's something the text alone couldn't quite capture -props to the two illustrators, Uman and Vidali. And, if O'run-del'lico was sold, how might that be indicative of British abuse of power (creating contexts in which native Yahgan people would voluntarily sell or feel forced into selling a child for a button)? This may be a book that children are able to relate to particularly if they are new or have moved to a new area of for EAL children who are living in a different culture or experiencing different customs for the first time.

Despite initial appearances, this is a very complex picture book which introduces issues way beyond its apparent simplicity. Taken from his island home as a child and taken to Victorian England for instruction in the ways of proper living, Jemmy Button (as he is known because his parents were given a pearl button in exchange for him) conforms to society but only just quite. The contexts of O'run-del'lico (aka Jemmy Button)'s story as told through Uman and Vadali's picture book feel wrong to me.This treatment brings the story home for young readers and provides an excellent discussion-starter. The writing has completely whitewashed the true story of Jemmy Button, and it is a shame, as we should know what really happened.

When he goes back to his land and back to his people, he immediately sheds what he was wearing and goes back to his life on the island completely unchanged from everything that he has seen in the land that is not his own. I think this book would be good for third graders to work with adventure books and introduce them to colonization and how our world changed during the 1800’s.Collaborating across continents, without a common language, Valerio'sprecision and Jennifer's primitive style have resulted in a story unlike any other. Jemmy Button, a native of Tierra del Fuego, was brought to England in the mid-1800s to be "educated and civilized. The colours and contrasts are great and a good talking point when reading this book, for example there is page that is all red and gold when he meets the king and queen - lots can be inferred from this. But other than the author mentioning that the boy missed the boughs of the trees and the night sky on his island home, the reader is never told about the difficulties that he must have faced in trying to assimilate into white society.

The fact that people tried to change him so much and that he almost acted like the people that offered him a new culture but then ultimately never changed who he was resonated with me at my core. Maybe no written record exists of their care, but by not presenting the possibility of such, a young child might conclude that they were not "good" parents. His story puts a human face on colonization and imperialistic conquest, but if it's HIS story, why isn't it told from his perspective with the complexity that a story like his deserves?In the new land Jemmy found people in unusual clothes, buildings taller than trees, and he learned their ways.

One day, visitors from far away came and asked him to travel with them across the ocean to their land. Let it be a spark that opens up discussions on other topics such as the challenges and hardships assimilating to a culture, the tragedy of being separated from one's home and family- how about the parents/family?Jacques The Egg The Forest The Great Subway Map The Little Barbarian The Moon Keeper The Penguin Who Was Cold The Stone Age The Truth About my Unbelievable School The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer The World Belongs to You The Worried Whippet The Unforgettable Party The Very Hungry Plant Thingamabob Toute Une Vie Pour Apprendre Veggies! Transported to Victorian England to be transformed from a wild child into an English gentleman, he was educated and introduced to middle-class manners. Wally Wombat We are human animals Well Done Mummy Penguin Wendy and the Wallpaper Cat What Degas Saw What Does the Crocodile Say? But I was uncomfortable with the way in which the book glossed over the larger implications of colonialism and the ways that western exploration affected the societies that it touched and exploited. It could serve as a great text for critical analysis alongside study of colonialism in Social studies and history classes.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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