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Mirror

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On the Arabian side, a family travels through the desert on camel, avoiding the hassle of traffic and construction altogether. In terms of social and economic status, Baker made comparing the two very simple for the reader again.

It is a wordless picture book that speaks volumes about culture – both similarities and differences. But for the elderly, the superstitious and the traditional, they serve a vital purpose: they are protectors against the evil eye, bringers of good luck and bountiful harvests. A powerful book, Mirror illustrates how our lives reflect each other and that we are all, even in some small way, connected.I’ll often be told that children will try to pick things off the pages in my books or stroke the textures. I love learning about other cultures and this is a unique way to show that while both cultures are different, they still partake in the same things. Two diverse countries and cultures are linked with warmth and charm in this two-in-one picture book. In this work, it is important to have each character wearing the same coloured garments throughout, so they can easily be identified: particularly as I often show just hands and arms and the character’s colour is the only thing that identifies them.

As is my usual working process, this started as little more than scribbles on a smallish sheet of paper, initially very much working on the book as a whole: drawing lots of oblongs within a sheet of paper, and imagining each as a double page spread within the book. It's unique because the stories being shown, for example families eating together, are the same activity but the way in which it is done is different. Unfortunately, the author doesn't compare similar economic groups between the two cultures, thus not rendering an equivalent comparison. Page by page, we experience the lives of two little boys – one from an urban family in Sydney, Australia, the other from Morocco.The colorful art work will appeal to children, as they reflect the world through a child’s eyes, using childlike drawings to depict their different lives. When Islam arrived with the armies of Arabia in the 7 th century, the Berbers became Muslims and remain so today.

Two diverse cultures, countries and families are linked with warmth and charm in this two-in-one picture book. If they walk to the left, they can view the Sydney journey and read the images from left to right and if they walk to the right, they can view the Moroccan journey and read the images from right to left. Particularly enjoyed the depictions of the dog and cat and of some of the clothes, surprisingly with the latter, not at all surprised by the former.

Page by page, we experience the lives of two little boys - one from an urban family in Sydney, Australia, the other from Morocco. I’d expected to be going alone with the women, but Mohamed Bouras (who was acting as my interpreter) had assumed he’d be joining me. And when a project is finally finished, invariably I feel a need to take off on an adventure that importantly is quite opposite to the project I’ve been working on.

All Super Six strategies are addressed except for monitoring, as this is more difficult for a shorter picture book text. Pictures that cleverly fold out from each side eloquently reveal the external differences and inner parallels that constitute their lives.Overall, I love learning about new cultures and making connects between them as were shown in this book when the families eat and spend time together. So I began to plan a second trip, to linger for a longer while in the valleys and Berber villages of the foothills of the lower Atlas Mtns and learn more of the way of life here … and to evolve the story for the project that became ‘Mirror’. Contacts I made on my first trip to Morocco arranged a family home stay, allowing me to spend some weeks with a Berber family, living in an area of particular interest to me. It’s at this point that I start work on the final artwork (the collages) for the book, though I’m still working at, refining and developing the ideas and images in the book right until the very last opportunity, before it is photographed for reproduction.

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