Tag: mythic structure

  • Fish Tank Film Study

    Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold

    When it comes to storytelling, certain themes are easy to get wrong. Attempts at subversion can end up reinforcing a culturally dominant message. Specifically, attempts to show the sexual vulnerability of teenage girls can tip into objectification in the wrong hands, or sometimes mostly by the people in charge of the marketing materials. When Netflix […]

  • The Little Crooked House by Wild and Bentley Picture Book Analysis

    The Little Crooked House by Margaret Wild and Jonathan Bentley

    The Little Crooked House (2005) is an Australian picture book written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley who, coincidentally, has the perfect name for this story, gotta say.

  • Taking Mr Ravenswood by William Trevor Short Story Analysis

    Anders Zorn (Swedish painter) 1860-1920 Impressions of London, 1890

    “Taking Mr Ravenswood” is a short story by Irish-English author William Trevor, included in Last Stories (2018) and previously unpublished. The author had already died by the time this story was released to the rest of us. This is an excellent example of the ambiguity lyrical short stories are known for. To get a sense…

  • Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People by Lorrie Moore Short Story Analysis

    “Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People” is a mother-and-daughter road trip short story by American writer Lorrie Moore. This story was published in The New Yorker in November 1993. Also find it in Birds of America (1999) and The Collected Stories. The title of this story comes from something the mother of this…

  • Sidewalk Flowers by Lawson and Smith

    Footpath Flowers

    Sidewalk Flowers is a wordless Canadian picture book by poet JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith.

  • The Fog by Maclear and Pak

    The Fog is a picture book by written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Kenard Pak. This is an example of a story for children that starts out in comical fashion, but you soon realise there’s a horrifying environmental message. The metaphor of fog serves double duty as a symbol of climate change and as…

  • Harvey Slumfenberger’s Christmas Present by John Burningham Analysis

    Harvey Slumfenberger's Christmas Present cover

    Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present (1993) is a picture book written and illustrated by British storyteller John Burningham. The pacing in this story is a little different to most picture books seen in bookstores today.

  • Fly Homer Fly by Bill Peet Analysis

    Fly Homer Fly is a 1969 picture book of 64 pages written and illustrated by Bill Peet who died in 2002 after a long career in children’s storytelling.

  • Higglety Piggelty Pop! or There Must Be More To Life Analysis

    Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More To Life is an illustrated short story, though some might just call it a picture book. The language is too sophisticated to count as an early reader, unlike the Mercy Watson series, of a similar length and also divided into chapters. Why divide such a short story…

  • Rufus and the Blackberry Monster by Lisa Stubbs Analysis

    Rufus and the Blackberry Monster Cover

    1999 in picture books was the year of monsters in the forest. Jez Alborough was finishing up his bear series about a massive toy bear, actually harmless. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler released their phenomenal hit The Gruffalo. Rufus and the Blackberry Monster by Lisa Stubbs is part of the same family. Comparisons between this…

  • A Brief History of Road Trip Stories

    road trip

    Road trip stories are basically mythic journeys. Usually, a group of friends or family are travelling together instead of alone. As well as meeting a succession of opponents along the way they argue among themselves. The Minotaur opponent who comes in from outside either binds them together or (in a tragedy) drives them apart. Occasionally…

  • How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped by Katherine Mansfield Short Story Analysis

    “How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped” is a modernist short story by Katherine Mansfield, published 1912. At its heart, “Pearl Button” is a story about a clash of two cultures seen through a child’s eyes. This story plays out as a duality of restriction and freedom. The European settlers are restricted while the Māori people enjoy…