Voices in the Park Book Cover Voices in the Park
Anthony Browne
Children's stories
Random House
1999
32

A wonderfully original story of children overcoming adult snobbery. Told from four radically different perspectives, each voice telling a different version of the same walk in the park. This simple story explores many key themes such as alienation, friendship and the bizarre amid the mundane.

Wow! Voices in the Park is a great book to help children explore and understand life from the perspective of someone else. Voices in the Park tells the story of four people who take a walk in the park – each person (voice) tells the story from their own perspective. The vastly different perspectives gives the story a fascinating depth and allows children to understand a variety of concepts including alienation, friendship, unemployment, social status, and hope. I love the use of different fonts to demonstrate each different voice.

The first time I read this story, I was amazed after reading the second voice at how different the park experience was for each character. This story is a real eye-opener at how quickly we can be to judge those around us and this is a great conversation to have with children. I was also amazed at the illustrations and the use of various colors to demonstrate the self-worth of each character. The second voice is accompanied by darker images that help portray the despair that the character is feeling whereas the fourth voice is accompanied by bright illustrations that show hope. This story is perfect for slightly older children and is a great tool to use keep in the classroom for dealing with certain playground issues.

Classroom Activities:

  • Share an experience as a class (for example, play a game altogether outside) and then have students write their own recount of the experience. Compare and contrast the recounts.
  • Create a character profile for each of the voices in the story
  • Explore different fonts on your computer. What fonts do you think symbolize a child’s voice and what fonts symbolize the voice of an adult?
  • Draw a map of the park

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