Apparently The Hero of Little Street is the third book in the Boy Bear series from Gregory Rogers and I think I’ll have to get my hands on the other two. Having said that, you certainly don’t need to have read the others in order to enjoy this one. Winner of The Picture Book of the Year in 2009, this is a feast for the eyes and imagination.
The Hero of Little Street is a wordless picture book, illustrated with comic book style picture boxes. The illustrations tell the story of ‘the Boy’ who, in a dash away from a gang of bullies, ends up in a gallery and eventually finds himself befriending a dog and falling into a Jan Vermeer painting, through which he becomes transported to Little Street, Delft in seventeenth-century Holland.
The streets of Delft are a dangerous place and the Boy and his dog have to be pretty quick and clever to escape ending up on the butcher’s block.
The inside cover, states this book is ‘a triumph of visual storytelling’, and I happen to agree.
Why I love it:
There really is just so much within the pages of this book. There’s a great story to follow and a fabulous, high-five each other type ending. There’s also artwork and history and gruesome seventeenth-century lifestyle information. There’s friendship and struggles and bravery and so much more. The fact that all this is done without a single word being written, is just a little impressive!
If your children are anything like mine, they will spend a decent amount of time with this book in their laps – it may even inspire some visual storytelling of their own.
Themes to discuss with your child:
- Changes through time
- Happy endings
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
- What is the boy on the cover doing?
- Why do you think he is doing this?
- Do you think the dog is his friend? What makes you think this?
- Where do you think this story takes place?
- Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
- What did you think about the fact that there were no words in the story?
- Why did the boy run into the gallery at the start of the story?
- What happened at the very end of the story?
- How do you feel about that ending?
- As the boy, what do you think would have been the scariest part of the story?
- Why did the dogs help him?
- If you could say something to the boys that were bullying him, what would you say?
- If you could travel through time, where would you want to go and why?
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