One Photo: Book Review

Dad came home one day with one of those old cameras, the kind that used film. But Dad didn't take photos of the regular things people photograph. 


Title: One Photo
Author: Phil Watkins
Illustrator: Liz Anelli
ISBN: 9780670077977          Language: English 

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Classification: Fiction
Type: Picture Book
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.

Embrace
Illustrations are very engaging. I thought the pace and tone of the story were really well done. The language is basic enough and gets the point across.

Beware
The unexplained condition leaves you...hanging?

My Thoughts
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 nowhere 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. the digital technology of today.


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