The Beginning Thought to Be the End, Kara Tahta, Misafir Köşesi

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The Beginning Thought to Be the End

10.08.2023 09:00 - Misafir Köşesi
The Beginning Thought to Be the End
Translator: Behice KAVAK
Text: Gurbet LÜY

The most primary thing a parent wants for his/her children is to protect them from getting harmed. They make an effort by protecting their children. Parents try keep their children out of bad habits, unhealthy foods, bullies, harm's way, sadness, and unhappiness. They strive to put in order the neighborhood in order to minimize the harm. Even when choosing the books children read, they want to select books consisting of characters and plots that can serve as good examples for the children. Books that provide values education, consisting of well-behaved child characters, and do not mention any negative situations that can be encountered in life. However, they are mistaken by making such choices about books. Because parents cannot experience all situations children were confronted by. Books, on the other hand, are the greatest helpers of us parents in this regard.

Kids feel empathy with the characters they read on fictions. They consider them as real and feel sorry, be happy and go on from an adventure to another one with them. So, this connection they made is an opportunity to be able to tell all positive or negative they may experience. We can talk to our children about highly difficult issues such as death, war, disability, privacy, and religion with the occasion of books and give them a chance to reveal their emotions and thoughts. There is a wide range of subjects here, but I intend to focus on only one of them: the loss of parents.

April Who Lost Her Mother

Hannah Gold's The Last Bear which was translated to our language and published by Young Timas Publishing in 2002, tells April who lost her mother in a traffic accident and her dad's adventures in the Bear Island. Although it seems like April lost only one of her parents, actually she lost also her dad who is in mourning. It is not so easy to communicate with her dad who is physically near but emotionally far from her. She is neglected both emotionally and physically. "April didn't like school, or the girls at the school didn't like her. She didn't know whether it was because she smelled of fox or the fact she was the smallest girl in her class or even that she cut her own hair with a pair of garden scissors." (Page 11) These lines point up how the father becomes distanced from his daughter and focuses on his work. He becomes distanced from not only his daughter but also home. He only thinks about work.

The adventure begins with a job offer the father got so that he has to move to Arctic Circle. April who hears that she will move to Bear Island where no one lives hopes she and her father's relationship will get better. There is nothing but meteorological station and a shed. Nevertheless, the life there makes her excited. As soon as they arrive, she embarks on adventures that nobody would know and when returning she feels that everything has changed.

The Last Bear

The book isn't only about loss of parents. The subtexts are quite strong. It contains many themes such as crisis of climate, global warming, environmental pollution, relationships between parent and kids, the importance of not giving up goals, helping each other, love of animals. Inspired by the foxes in the garden of their home, April, who is open to communicating with animals, becomes aware of how to communicate with the lone polar bear living on Bear Island when she encounters it. From the moment they meet, April's sole purpose is to help the bear, and she does not hesitate to embark on this adventure. Their adventures together also transform the dimension of her relationship with her father.

In the book, generally black and white drawings are preferred and used to support the descriptions provided. The sheds on Bear Island, drawings of April, the bear, her father, and some scenes from there, as well as the cover design, are quite successful. The fact that we don't see April's face in the drawings allows each reader to envision a different version of April in their mind. Additionally, even without any illustrations in the book, the author's descriptions enable us to vividly imagine the setting where the events take place.

When you read this book and discuss it with your children, you will see how enjoyable the conversation is, so that you don't want to end. Our children will connect with April and ponder over the subtexts. I highly recommend this book, which is well-crafted with a solid plot, for everyone aged 9 and above. After reading it, researching the places and subtexts described in the text would be wonderful. You can even encourage your children to prepare a presentation and share it with their friends. At the end of the book, you will find website names where you can find information about global warming. You can use these websites as additional resources. Happy reading with the book.

Turkish text:


Yazar: Misafir Köşesi - Yayın Tarihi: 10.08.2023 09:00 - Güncelleme Tarihi: 09.08.2023 12:26

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