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The Resource The sad little fact, by Jonah Winter ; illustrated by Frank Viva

The sad little fact, by Jonah Winter ; illustrated by Frank Viva

Label
The sad little fact
Title
The sad little fact
Statement of responsibility
by Jonah Winter ; illustrated by Frank Viva
Creator
Contributor
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Follow a sad little fact who is locked away for telling the truth. In its underground prison, it meets other facts, all hidden away because they could not lie. Finally, with the help of a few skillful fact-finders, the facts are set free"--
Storyline
Illustration
Review
  • Grades K-3 Once upon a time, there was a fact. When the Authorities demand that the fact admit it is not a fact and it refuses, they throw the sad little fact in a locked box and bury it underground. To its surprise, it finds it is surrounded by other buried facts, all also aching for their truths to be released. Meanwhile, above ground, the Authorities have created an army of lies masquerading as facts, who begin wreaking havoc. When a group of determined fact finders use their shovels to dig up the real facts and bring them to light, not everyone is pleased, but the sad little fact can finally begin to smile. This is a solidly told story with fun, richly textured illustrations that effectively utilize color and shadow to underscore the story’s tone. An unapologetically political parable (unsurprising given Winter’s previous works), the story could easily serve as a conversation starter to discuss with young children the value and bravery of truth seeking and truth telling. -- Becca Worthington (Reviewed 4/1/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 15, p77)
  • K-Gr 3—The story begins "There was once a fact." That fact is a cute, fuzzy, blue ball with big eyes. As something with proven veracity, it seems as though there shouldn't be anything remarkable about the fact. It should be accepted as truth. Instead, the fact is confronted with disbelief and apathy. These are tough enough to stand up to, but then comes those with deliberately insidious intentions. The Authorities, long-limbed and red-gloved, are faceless entities that seek to bury the fact and replace it with more convenient untruths. Hope lies with the "fact finders," well-intentioned beings armed with hardhats and spades, working to dig out the fact and its brethren. The world is dark when truth is buried, and only by bringing the facts back into the world is brightness restored. The book feels like an obvious response to issues in today's political and media climate but unfortunately oversimplifies a complex and nuanced topic, without examining the societal and personal circumstances that contribute to individual beliefs. The illustrations are colorful and provide a clear visual contrast between those determined to crush the facts, those determined to bring the facts to light, and the sad little fact itself, emphasizing the threats that exist in this allegorical world. However, just like with the text, adult readers may see real-life and potentially alienating parallels in the illustrations. The ability to evaluate and parse information is an undeniably crucial skill, but on its own this book may be too abstract and far-reaching for picture book audiences. Incorporating critical thinking exercises related to evaluating credibility and accuracy (and even defining those terms), conversations about misinformation online, and extensive follow-up discussions to expand the topic may help provide a more grounded contextual understanding for young readers. VERDICT Timely and thought-provoking, this book may be challenging for young readers unless partnered with support and critical discussion with adults.—Alyssa Annico, Youngstown State University, OH --Alyssa Annico (Reviewed 06/01/2019) (School Library Journal, vol 65, issue 5, p68)
  • Winter (Elvis Is King!) and Oswald (The Bad Seed) imagine a fact as a small, mottled blue circle with big eyes and spindly arms and legs—a vulnerable critter who is nonetheless certain and resolute about one thing: “A fact is a fact.” The watercolor- textured digital drawings show how the “Authorities”—dark, skinny, faceless figures with red gloves—bury all the facts deep underground, then release “a bunch of lies” that resemble the facts and terrorize others (one group of these nonfacts can be seen carrying off a citizen and dog to an unknown fate). But a tenacious group of “fact finders,” spades in hand, liberate the real facts (“The Earth revolves around the Sun!” one freed fact declares. “And people are causing the Earth to get warmer!” chimes in another), and while the deniers continue to ignore the authentic truths, the facts now know that they aren’t alone—there are those “with minds to think and a need to know.” Is it biting commentary or agitprop? The phrase fake news is never mentioned, but the targets couldn’t be clearer. Ages 3–7. (May)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 02/25/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 8, p)
  • A colorful fable about facts and fake news. Winter and Oswald try to take on the current scourge of fake news, presenting the titular "sad little fact" as a circular blue splotch with skinny limbs and bewildered eyes. "No one took the fact seriously," intones the text as various multicolored shapes ignore the fact. The Authorities, tall, menacing, and depicted in black from the waist down, "demanded that the sad little fact admit that it was not a fact." The fact is buried underground with its peers even as "a bunch of lies created by the Authorities were taking over the world outside the box." Only "a hardy band of fact finders," depicted with miners' hats and shovels, fights back, digging into the earth and letting the facts ("The Earth revolves around the sun!" "And people are causing the Earth to get warmer!") out into the light. The facts themselves are cute, but this doesn't quite work as a parable or as a picture book. The story jerks around confusingly with unpolished prose. Constant repetition of the word "fact" puts readers at risk of lexical satiation. Propaganda and manipulation of the truth are ancient problems, but this story feels like a dashed-off response to current events rather than a deeply considered philosophy; the underlying message is likely to fly over the heads of young readers while being too simplistic for older audiences. Aimed at adults rather than children. (Picture book. 4-7) (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2019)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10767912
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1962-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Winter, Jonah
Dewey number
[E]
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 0
  • 3
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Viva, Frank
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Facts (Philosophy)
  • Truth
  • Facts (Philosophy)
  • Truth
Target audience
juvenile
Label
The sad little fact, by Jonah Winter ; illustrated by Frank Viva
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Control code
on1012654255
Edition
First edition.
Extent
1 volume.
Isbn
9780525581796
Lccn
2017044465
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1012654255
Label
The sad little fact, by Jonah Winter ; illustrated by Frank Viva
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Control code
on1012654255
Edition
First edition.
Extent
1 volume.
Isbn
9780525581796
Lccn
2017044465
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1012654255

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