Point of View

 There are several ways to consider ‘point of view’ in a story.

Objectively, one can look to see whether a story is told from the first person, second person or the third person point of view. The narrator in a story told from the first person point of view uses the pronoun “I”, while the narrator in a story told from the third person point of view uses the pronoun “he” or “she”. In the second person point of view, the story is told using the pronoun “you’. Here are some picture books that illustrate this concept.

First person point of view:
Beaumont, Karen. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! Harcourt, 2005.
Bunting, Eve. Riding the Tiger. Clarion Books, 2001.
Carrier, Roch. The Hockey Sweater. Tundra Books, 1979.
Carter, Anne Laurel. Under a Prairie Sky. Orca Publishers, 2002.
Gregory, Nan. Pink. Groundwood Books, 2007.
Hesse, Karen. Come on, Rain! Scholastic Press, 1999.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Peter’s Chair. Harper & Row, 1967.
Maloney, Peter. The Magic Hockey Stick. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1999.
Parker, Robert Andrew. Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2008.
Recorvits, Helen. My Name is Yoon. Frances Foster Books, 2003.
Royston, Angela. Ancient Greek Adventure. Crabtree, 2011.
Royston, Angela. Space Blog. Crabtree, 2011.
Spilsbury, Richard. Deep Sea Exploration.  Crabtree, 2011.

Second person point of view:
Christian, Peggy. If You Find a Rock. Harcourt, 2000.
Hubbard, Ben. Desert. Crabtree, 2011.
Tan, Shaun. The Red Tree. Simply Read Books, 2003.
Thomson, Sarah L. Imagine A Day. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005.

Third person point of view:
Bridges, Shirin Yim. Ruby’s Wish. Chronicle Books, 2002.
Carle, Eric. Mister Seahorse. Philomel Books, 2004.
Nivola, Claire A. Planting the Trees of Kenya. Frances Foster Books, 2008.
Park, Linda Sue. The Firekeeper’s Son. Clarion Books, 2004.
Polacco, Patricia. Thank you, Mr. Falker. Philomel, 1998.
Seymour, Tres. Pole Dog. Orchard Books, 1993.

Subjectively, one can look at “point of view” quite differently:

Character as an observer:
Carle, Eric. Mister Seahorse. Philomel Books, 2004.
Carter, Anne Laurel. Under a Prairie Sky. Orca Publishers, 2002.
Hesse, Karen. Come on, Rain! Scholastic Press, 1999.
Rylant, Cynthia. In November. Harcourt, 2000.
Seymour, Tres. Pole Dog. Orchard Books, 1993.

Character as an instigator of change:
Beaumont, Karen. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! Harcourt, 2005.
Bridges, Shirin Yim. Ruby’s Wish. Chronicle Books, 2002.
Brown, Don. Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein. Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
Howe, James. Otter and Odder.  Candlewick Press, 2012.
Nivola, Claire A. Planting the Trees of Kenya. Frances Foster Books, 2008.

Character as being willing to change:
Bunting, Eve. Riding the Tiger. Clarion Books, 2001.
Polacco, Patricia. Thank you, Mr. Falker. Philomel, 1998.
Gregory, Nan. Pink. Groundwood Books, 2007.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Peter’s Chair. Harper & Row, 1967.
Park, Linda Sue. The Firekeeper’s Son. Clarion Books, 2004.
Recorvits, Helen. My Name is Yoon. Frances Foster Books, 2003.

 

Another way of looking at point of view is by classifying the “type of conflict”:

Person versus Nature
Carter, Anne Laurel. Under a Prairie Sky. Orca Publishers, 2002.
Person versus Person:
Bridges, Shirin Yim. Ruby’s Wish. Chronicle Books, 2002.
Bunting, Eve. Riding the Tiger. Clarion Books, 2001.
Carrier, Roch. The Hockey Sweater. Tundra Books, 1979.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Peter’s Chair. Harper & Row, 1967.
Shannon, David. David Goes to School. Scholastic, 1999.
Person versus Self:
Park, Linda Sue. The Firekeeper’s Son. Clarion Books, 2004.
Polacco, Patricia. Thank you, Mr. Falker. Philomel, 1998.

The Day the Crayons Quit

It is sometimes fun to write alternate versions of a story, rewriting a story from the point of view of different characters.

Here is a story, to use as an example, that is told from the point of view of several different characters:
Browne, Anthony. Voices in the Park. DK Publishing, 2001.
Here is a story that contains letters written by crayons of various colours:
Daywalt, DrewThe Day the Crayons Quit. Philomel Books, 2013.
Here is a story that tells of Columbus’s arrival in the West Indies told from the point of view of a Taino Indian boy:
Yolen, Jane. Encounter. Harcourt, Inc., 1992.

Here is a story that is told from the whale’s point of view:
Spinelli, Eileen. Jonah’s Whale. Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Here are some stories that you might like to use for rewriting:
Bunting, Eve. Riding the Tiger. Clarion Books, 2001.
Carrier, Roch. The Hockey Sweater. Tundra Books, 1979.
Polacco, Patricia. Thank you, Mr. Falker. Philomel, 1998.
Recorvits, Helen. My Name is Yoon. Frances Foster Books, 2003.
Seymour, Tres. Pole Dog. Orchard Books, 1993.
Shannon, David. David Goes to School. Scholastic, 1999.

 

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2 thoughts on “Point of View

  1. The point of view varies. Compare fiction with nonfiction, adapted novels with original graphic novels. Here is a link to a page that helps you analyze point of view in graphic novels: https://books.google.ca/books?id=AwZrSlcDQvEC&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=graphic+novel+first-person+point+of+view&source=bl&ots=WiVNgYto2t&sig=U1VWU8yJRqhwpZawC6Q1_lCBKhg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwju7tCHxq7QAhVDHGMKHUBOC0oQ6AEIOzAF#v=onepage&q=graphic%20novel%20first-person%20point%20of%20view&f=false. Have fun!

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