Response to “Oh, How I Wished I Could Read” by John Gile example

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Response to “Oh, How I Wished I Could Read” by John Gile

“Oh, How I Wished I Could Read” by John Gile is a book for children that touches upon one of the crucial skills in life – the reading skill. Masterfully illustrated by Frank Fiorello, it presents a story of a boy, who had a nightmare, in which he could not read being unable to decode the information on any sign he met during his walk. His inability caused him much trouble as he got in unpleasant and dangerous situations. In this way, the book establishes the clear cause-and-effect structure of the narration presenting the reader the negative consequences of not being able to read (Fludernik 2). The key idea the book renders is that reading is extremely important and without it, the life can get unbearable. In the bright illustrations and extensive use of humor “Oh, How I Wished I Could Read” playfully urges and motivates children to read making them aware of its need in life. Probably, the key to the book’s delivering its message is in its making the young reader feel sorry about the protagonist of the story, thus making them experience empathy (Nikolajeva 86-87). Hence, the book employs the powerful tools of producing the strong effect on the readers suggesting them the importance of reading.

The key idea of the book that I wanted to present in my multimedia response is that the ability to read provides one with a direction on how to act. The boy in the book got into troubles because he could not comprehend the directions written on the signs. The story evoked the more general associations about knowledge and eventually, I came up with the idea that reading is the light illuminating the path of life. Therefore, I decided to use the metaphor of light that stands for the reading skill as the central idea for my multimedia response. With the help of it, I wanted to demonstrate that reading shows one a path of where to go and serves an important tool on following it.

The form for the multimedia response I chose is a comic strip – a series of pictures that tell a story. I decided to make a comic strip because I am concerned it could best express the idea I wanted to present. I wanted my response to be graphical only, and unlike a picture, that shows only the general idea, a comic strip is a graphical narration, presenting a story with a clear beginning and an ending. The comic strip I created is quite short – it has only 8 pictures, however, I think that the story it tells looks finished. Many comic strips contain some short phrases, but I decided not to use them at all in order to try to present the idea using no verbal means but the pictures only. Probably it may sound paradoxical that a story about the importance to read can be easily decoded without reading at all, …

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