by Anthony Browne

In our classrooms, we took up several different stories that showed various perspectives. One of our favourites was VOICES IN THE PARK by Anthony Browne.

In this story, four different voices tell their accounts of a day in the same park. These characters' paths cross and slowly in reading the story, we begin to understand that it is the same meeting that is being retold through different eyes. We closely studied the voices of Charles, his mother, Smudge and her father.

During this close reading, students were very attentive and observant of the differences between both the text and illustrations of the four voices. Some comments included:

"The dark colours represented Smudge's father because he was unemployed and depressed." -Dante

"I noticed that the pictures in Charles' story have dark, straight borders, and the pictures in Smudge's story have no borders and always go outside of the lines." - Toshi

"The symbol of the mother's hat means it's like she's always there, wherever Charles goes." -Connor

"I think it's funny that Charles is always in his mother's shadow. Even if you can't see her, he is covered by her shadow." -Rhys

We decided to take on one or more perspectives from the story and use colour in our drawings to show mood and feeling like Anthony Browne did in the book. We discussed how the four different characters perceived the park in different ways, based on their life experiences and situations. We started wondering how we all look at our school, playground, and world differently too.


This image shows how sad and lonely Charles' world is.
Smudge perceives her world as colorful and bright.
Here is a picture that demonstrates both Charles' and Smudges' world. The colors used shows the difference between the two worlds.



Copyright J.Lambrinoudis and M.Shervey