Title: One Photo
Author: Phil Watkins
Themes: loss, memories, family
What’s it about?
This story is about a family of three (mother, father and son) but focuses on the father. He takes photos of “odd” things according to his family and he is becoming increasingly forgetful. The mother and especially the son feel frustrated that he will take photos of those things but not him/the family. And then he is gone.
Illustrations are very engaging. I thought the pace and tone of the story was really well done. The language is basic enough and gets the point across.
Unexplained condition leaves you…hanging?
When I first collected this book from the library it was the illustrations that drew me in. Don’t get me wrong, the story is quite nice and is about a topic that is not covered enough or covered overly well in stories that can be used for children – that being pain, grief, anger and loss.
I would love to have marked this as a Use It book but I couldn’t due to one issue I had with the book – the unnamed condition of the father. As an adult I can venture a few guesses – Dementia etc as to what condition the father has but the fact that no where in the story does it tell you reminds me of those books which end with “…and then I woke up and it was all a dream”. I felt let down. If the book had contained a fact page at the end describing the father’s condition then this would be a highly valuable book to add to any school library collection….but as it is the book is just ok.
You might consider using this in a technology lesson looking at past and present in regards to the “old” camera with film (makes me feel old) that the father uses vs, digital technology of today.
Stay tuned for an activity page.
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