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Posted 20 hours ago

Mirror

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The clothing they wear and the food they eat may be different, but both begin the day by dressing, and by having the breakfasts prepared by their mothers. We went to bed early (about 9pm) Fadma, Hammou and the children (relatives of Mohamed) slept in another room to lessen the chances of our being woken in the night.

I then worked on these drawings, over and over and over again, until I got to the point where I could see no way of taking the ideas further and its at this point that I send the layouts drawings, bound into book form, or in this case two parts of a book form, to my publisher. In the process of trying to be authentic and checking the details within my story, I have more and more interesting interactions with Berber people. Their lives are explored, side by side, in pictures which follow the directionality of their respective written scripts, English and Arabic. 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.The women in the Valley of Roses often wore their headscarves with a large distinctive knot sticking upright at the top of their head. Mirror written by Jeannie Baker is a brilliantly illustrated and engaging wordless picture book that explores the similarities and differences between Western and Moroccan society through a side-by-side comparison as if looking through two different windows.

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. These people (as did others I stayed with) invariably took a bit of an interest, contributing to show how things should be portrayed to be reasonably authentic: and some role playing and acting out evolved from their involvement. But travelling alone in remote Morocco, a woman ‘stranger’ myself, I was met with much friendliness and generosity from ‘strangers’ The idea for my next project was right there and ideas for a story naturally started to grow.There were no words to actually tell you what was going on and I think that a book like this that was very important because it is good for kids to understand and realize that there are kids just like them living their lives in different parts of the world, but somehow their daily lives are very similar. In this book, we follow a day in the lives of two children and two families, one in Australia and one in Morocco, North Africa, from the rising of the sun and early morning until the last rays of sunlight disappear over the horizon as both families gather for their evening meal.

An innovative, two-in-one picture book follows a parallel day in the life of two families: one in a Western city and one in a North African village. Yet with the journey of a homemade Moroccan carpet into the Australian boy's home, we can see how these separate lives become intertwined.Here I mirror an equally arduous journey, as father and son, travel in their yellow van, through the torturous Sydney traffic, with all its traffic jams, turmoil, obstructions, delays, rules, speed cameras and unpredictability. Most of these worksheets/activities could be utilised in a groupwork/stations format, with the possible exception of predicting, which is best completed before reading the text. I would like to see more books like this, turning the two pages at once was an interesting way to read a story. The final Sydney traffic scene shows an area close to my home (Tiger country) and is much influenced by the actual and wonderful craziness that went with our local team, Tigers, being a player (about four years ago) in the Grand Final Football match.

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