Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Behind the Books: Nonfiction Voice, Part 2

As I’ve been reading widely and thinking about nonfiction voice, I’ve discovered a category of book that surprised me. I’m calling it “neutral voice.”

In these books, usually created by an author-illustrator, the text is straightforward with little or no identifiable voice. Why? Because the art and design take center stage. They are so dynamic, so innovative that they do all the heavy lifting while the text fades into the background, playing a supporting role.

Books with a Neutral Voice

Coral Reef by Jason Chin

Eye to Eye by Steve Jenkins

Frogs by Nic Bishop

Move by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

My First Day by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Neo Leo by Gene Barretta

Now & Ben by Gene Barretta

Redwoods by Jason Chin

Timeless Thomas by Gene Baretta

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I want art that I love, of course, but I find my favorite nf pbs are the ones where a voice is more identifiable. I do love several of these books for the art and the cool info and structure used. But, for young pbs especially, I want a more engaged voice. That's what makes me say, "I LOVE this book." That's what draws me in--when I hear an author's point of view/opinion/passion about something through every word choice.