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Thursday, August 27, 2009 8:36 am
Book Trailer Thursday: Rose & the Bald-Headed Elephant
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Picture-book trailers usually adhere to one formula: artwork  /  zooms   x  pans  +  music = trailer. There’s something soulless about this approach; by removing both the effort of reading as well as the interaction of parent and child, we’re left with a simulacrum of an experience, a readaloud as interpreted by a robot.

However! Occasionally elements cohere in such a way to transcend the robotic. The trailer for Wooley Cottswold’s Rose & the Bald-Headed Elephant (Archie Publishing, 2009) only tweaks the above algorithm, but there’s gold in them there tweaks. Instead of panning and zooming, a spotlight widens to allow more and more of the image to be revealed, emulating a reader’s own discovery. The halting rhythms, the morose characters, the generous white space, and the noodling accordion create the feel of an experimental French film. All that’s missing is a weeping mime.

Verdict: Sacre bleu! The text moves too fast for children, which is a tip-off that this isn’t really for them. But for the adults in charge of finding the book, this is more inviting than a bottle of French Bordeaux.



5 Responses to “Book Trailer Thursday: Rose & the Bald-Headed Elephant”
  1. Drew Says:

    Wow!…all I can say is wow! You’ve hit the nail on the head! The trailer is exquisite…not only is there a unique style with the spotlight exposing segments in the story, but there’s a lovely touch with the words beautifully in sync with the music as they appear. Something you wouldn’t see from a “typical” flash animator – nice touch!

    Oh, and btw, I’ve read the book and it also lives up to the charm and quaintness of the trailer. I loved it.

  2. Dawn Says:

    “there’s gold in them there tweaks” – Spot on!
    The video is lovely.

  3. Heidi Says:

    Some sparks of budding animation genius – I hope pixar is scouting the picture book trailers…

  4. Scott Heff Says:

    The video is amazing. The book is amazing. Great review!

  5. Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » Book Trailer Thursday: I Am Not a Serial Killer Says:

    [...] heard me repeatedly express frustration with the omnipresent photos/voiceover/music template. But what do I know? The [...]

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