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Annie Makes a Mess of her New Red Dress sprouted from a seed of a few ideas about a little girl who receives a new dress and has trouble with it. The purpose of my children’s book is to communicate the different elements of life that small children love or hate such as birthday parties, lollies, balloons, parks and playgrounds. Another purpose is to educate children about overcoming adversity and the fact that it’s never as bad as they think.
There are many themes in this book but the main ones are adventure and overcoming adversity. This book is created for children from the age of four to around six.
Originally the title was Jess Makes a Mess of her New Red Dress but after researching titles and texts I decided to change my characters name so that it’s not alliterative because as Mem Fox proposed, use names that will reveal something about the character. I chose Annie because to me it cute and resembles virtue in a young girl.
The title is varied in colour and at first I was unsure about this but after researching the best sellers of children’s books, I found that many of them used the same technique to emphasise a word or to represent its meaning.
In my title the word red is emphasised by being the colour red as opposed to the other words which are black. For Annie, I chose a red coloured dress because it’s noticeable and vibrant to attract the eyes of a young reader.
The dress resembles innocence and the love for clothes that the majority of girls will have throughout their lives. When illustrating the book, I decided to create pictures appropriate for the age group, they are basic but colourful. All the illustrations, including the front cover are framed by two bars of white. This is to enclose or border the illustrations to have them as the main focus.
The illustration on the front cover flows through to the back as I think this is an attractive feature in a children’s book as discussed in class. On some pages the illustrations have no background again the same technique is used, to have the image as the main focus such as the playground equipment or Annie in the introduction. In most of the images Annie’s dress is unravelling; I depict this through the red thread of cotton behind Annie. Children love this as they can trace their finger around the red line or follow it with their eyes. The psychology of children must also be considered when reading or writing a children’s book.
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