“The book, “Blackout” is a cleverly written story about what it is really like when electricity is lost and there is a true blackout. The book itself is dark in color; the use of any ‘light’ through color is done quite sparingly. The pictures at the beginning demonstrate how life is so busy for one family-how each member is on the computer, watching television, or on the phone. When the blackout occurs, the pictures become almost blackish blue in color. The writing in the book is limited, but the expressions on the faces of the family add a dimension to the story that one doesn’t necessarily have to be able to read to understand what’s happening. Even though the premise and back drop of the book is the blackout, the theme is really about how important it is to spend quality time together as a family. The family depicted in the story really takes advantage of the situation and an adventure is created in the midst of all the darkness. When there are no technological devices working and no lessons or practices to go to, the family is able to enjoy the moment of being together and appreciate the beauty of nature’s own brightness-the stars and moon in the evening sky.
I thought this book was very creative. It had me remembering instances in my childhood when we had a blackout and how strange the whole event felt. No one realizes how dependent we all are on electricity until it isn’t working and you are in the dark. Those situations definitely provided a chance for my family to be together-especially since we would have very few candles or flashlights to go around, so we would all huddle together in one area until the lights returned.
Teaching Connection-Many lessons could be created around this book which is for the youngest readers. In a Kindergarten or Pre-school class, a lesson on electricity (what is it, who discovered it, and why is it important to our society) could be developed. Also there could be a lesson on the letter ‘B’ for blackout; this could be incorporated with a presentation on color-in this case black. A lesson in Art could also be constructed that allows students to color/paint using black. Finally, a lesson on the family and the importance of just being together-even when the lights are out-could be discussed
Particularly good for personal connections in this new era of perennial extended blackouts.