Six Dinner Sid is a picture story book written and illustrated by Inga Moore in 1991. This work was originally published in Great Britain by Simon and Schuster Young Books Inc. and brought to United States by Aladdin publisher located in New York. It's dimensions are 8 by 10 inches high and it is presented as a paperback. It's current price is $7.
00 dollars which I consider to be relatively inexpensive for a picture book with such characteristics and beautiful realistic illustrations. This picture book contains 34 pages which is considered to be an average size book appropriate for the age groups four to seven. I choose a double spread page of the book Six Dinner Cat to describe how according to Perry Nodelman the meaning of the story is represented by the text and illustrations, both constructing a whole framework. Molly Bang's principles emphasize on the meaning of different shapes and their positions that once perceived they automatically come alive by practicing his principals. The book's plot is about a cat named Sid who gets six different meals a day. He is a little crooked black cat that enjoys playing the pet of six different owners on Aristotle Street just so that he can get his six different meals a day and of course he enjoys being scratched in six different places.
The story starts to reach its climax when Sid gets a nasty cough and is taken to the Vet, not once but six times. The conflict begins when Sid gets discovered by the vet. All six neighbors get very upset to discover what he was up to. On the next page Sid is illustrated standing in front of his only meal. Here is where the author uses a double spread page to illustrate this raising action by using a detailed picture that gives the reader a greater foreshadowing than the text itself.
I choose to describe this page because just by looking at the illustration we know that Sid will now have only one dinner a day. Since Sid was a six dinner cat, he went to live to Pythagoras place where all his six new owners knew about Sid's six dinners but nobody minded. Throughout the book Moore makes her illustrations become as important as the text, both being essential for the integral of the story. The language she uses and her pictures complement each other perfectly throughout the story. The language used was kept relatively simple for that age group, however there are a few challenging words that encourage children to increase their vocabulary skills. A combination of watercolors and color pencils were used as media.
The watercolors used are transparent allowing the author to sense the light airy feeling of clouds and skies. In addition, the color pencils were used on the top to create a cartoonist setting, and surrealism. The font used is very similar to the bookman old style which is very easy to read along. The text is bold, clear and just appropriated for lower elementary levels. The mood of the background and the character's facial expressions change continuously based on the segment of the story. A good example of that would be the comparison of page number one with the double spread page I choose.
On page one the story begins presenting the happy looking little cat outside Aristotle Street. The background looks fabulous because it's a nice sunny day and it seams to be early spring which is a representation of a new life, hope and the rebirth of Jesus and all other living things. The grass and all other vegetation is all light green. Tender green leaves are usually associated with nurturing, fertility and harvesting.
There are lots of open white flowers with yellow pistils. The white symbolizes truth and purity and the yellow represents spiritual love or wealth. The houses are painted in bright, light colors. Far in the background you see some people playing with a ball and others riding bikes.
It seems to be a good day for sports. In contrast, on page twenty the picture revels six angry neighbors with rigid expressions, looking at the poor scolded face Sid. This double spread page shows a different background from page one. The houses have a little darker touch up with a dark color pencil on top of their original paint. The grass is still green, but this time a darker green is used.
The flowers are now painted dark orange and not quite as open as on page one, but they still revel a calm scenario. It obviously doesn't look like spring because it isn't sunny any more. In addition all of the six neighbors are wearing sweaters. All these details helps Moore to transmit her idea more in deep, but the language is still as important as the illustrations themselves. On page twenty, Moore uses a dimensional background that gives it a more vivid appearance. The fact that the colors are darker gives the readers a feeling of tension.
A good detail is the small, narrow toilet room with dark walls that she draw right in front of Sid symbolizing punishment or lack of freedom. The fact that all the people are shown on the left side of the spread page and Sid isolated on the lower center of the right page clearly shows that Sid is the main character. According to Perry Nodelman, isolation is what makes objects stand out more on a page. Almost all six characters have sharp, pointed noses and sharp faces which represents a more rigid expression. One of the characters is illustrated with his eyebrows shaped as an arch on a diagonal position focusing his dirty look on the cat. "Diagonal shapes imply tension and act as arrows," said Molly Bang.
The way these people look at the poor cat in an angular position makes the reader see that they are now in control of Sid. In addition, all the six neighbors are gather together on the left as if they are forming a group alliance. Their facial expressions are different in each character, two of them are sad and the others look disappointed, but all of them relate to the situation. Sid is shown as if he was just being scolded or repressed. He seems like a fragile little creature looking at his lonely, only meal in a very sad way. His tail is lift upward on a diagonal position representing motion.
His knees are halfway bend which represents the need of forgiveness. In fact, there is a sense of forgiveness because there are flowers all around. There are also lots of trees and the grass is painted on a vertical shape implying energy to the scene. There is a sense of hope too, because Sid is illustrated right in front of a bowl with food symbolizing a sense of nurturing and shelter. His food is orange symbolizing emotions, joy and happiness.
To finalize the story, Moore introduced six new rounded shape characters hugging Sid. She uses a plain white background leaving the readers with a stable, smooth impression. I really enjoyed this work specially because it shows the results for not being honest. It also represents a good role model for honesty and teaches kids to be themselves. I truly like the way Moore uses her illustrations and I like her humorous work..