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By Mvendaga Jibo

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While this may appeal to adult readers, such a reference to pop icons of the 1960s and 1970s might be missed by younger generations. Interestingly, despite these possible Looking Beneath the Surface 33 difficulties, parody is a surprisingly prevalent mode in children’s picturebooks. Other metafictive disruptions, besides intertextuality and parody, occur through frame-breaking. Writing on adult fiction, Hutcheon (1984) contends that narrative disruption and discontinuity in texts using metafictive strategies bring readers to an understanding of the use of narrative codes and conventions by disturbing comfortable habits associated with the act of reading.

Related to this media culture is the advent of a world of consumer technology and consumption which is, in turn, associated with the development of a post-industrial society15 and the rise of a global economy. Where once postmodern texts were concerned with challenging the dominant ideologies of liberal humanist societies, increasingly they have turned their attention to the ideologies and practices of postmodernism and the conditions of postmodernity. Woods (1999) writes of adult literature of the 1980s by so-called generation X or ‘brat-pack’ novelists,16 who produced a different type of writing which did not make recognisably radical narrative disruptions, yet still maintained the postmodern label.

As its similar title suggest, Voices in the Park (Browne, 1998) chronicles the same day spent in the park by the same two families first encountered in A Walk in the Park. However, the families are now drawn as zoomorphic figures rather than as humans. Voices in the Park provides multiple points of view from which the text can be viewed. There are four first-person narrators (polyphony), who create shifting points of view, with each narrator performing the role of principal focalising character of their particular segment.

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