Inanimate Alice: China by Kate Pullinger

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As the sky grows darker, fear becomes more overwhelming for Alice and her mother, in the race against time to find her father, and time is slipping away. The new, media interactive story of eight-year-old Alice in the Episode: China, by Kate Pullinger, is about Alice and her mother finding her father. Through out the book, the reader engages in activities, such taking pictures of rare flowers, as well as seeing diagrams, and photos of some of the things Alice mentions, explains, or sees in the story. The sound and video also play a key role in the book. The video of the jeep driving makes the reader feel as though they are actually in car with Alice and her mother, apart of the rescue. In addition, the video shows how fast Alice's mother is driving, and how urgent and important it is to find Alice's father. Meanwhile, the sound sets the tone and feeling of Alice and her environment, literally allowing the reader to feel how Alice feels. Although this book is a fantastic new way of reading books, I find the story itself to not be well written, due to unnecessary details, and the lack of explanation of certain things.
In the beginning of the story, the author sets up what seems to be great plot about a rescue mission, but the author begins to drift away from the main purpose of the story. “Mum…paints and I draw.” In my opinion, this a perfect example of how the author included details that did not push the plot forward because, this statement does not relate to the problem of her missing father, or how to solve the problem. Another example of an unneeded detail in the story, is when Alice lists out the things she would rather be doing, than searching for her own father. Not only does is this irrelevant, but it also makes the character to be heartless, as if she does not really care to find her father. In addition to these unimportant details, the author also seems to leave the reader puzzling by the end of the book, and not in a good way.
Through out the story there are a few loose ends that the author does not tie up. As the story continues, the reader is introduced to Alice’s drawing, Brad. At first, Brad seems to be useless, but it is later discovered that Brad plays a key role in finding Alice’s father. “ I hear Brad’s voice in my head and he says, ‘Go that way,’ and so I say to mum, ‘Go that way,’ and she does.” Personally, I do not understand why Brad, a cartoon drawing, would know where Alice’s father is, a question that was never answered. “ The sky is humming. The sky hums here, I don’t know why, as though it is electronic.” This statement also contributed to my confusion, because the author does not even attempt to explain this unusual noise, leaving readers puzzled on what the humming was.
All in all, although this book’s structure is a cool, new way to read, the story was poorly written because of the multiple unnecessary details, and loose ends. I predict this idea of a media, interactive book will become more popular than the story that it is supposed to be telling. Episode 1: China, was a thumbs down for me, and would only recommend others to read this book just to experience the media aspects.

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sportygabb425 said...
Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm
Sorry about the quote. My sister put that.
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