I’ve been reading a lot of really fun picture books lately. It’s a great way to get ideas on technique for my own writing and art.
I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you!
Oh, No! by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann
The art in this book is amazing. The end. Gorgeous colors, lively lines, and it’s a reduction linocut, which is pretty unusual when it comes to children’s book illustrations. Too fun.
It’s a pretty cool story, too, told in typical folktale style. Animal after animal falls into a pit … and a hungry tiger is watching it all.
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherry Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
A great example of a rhyming book that deserves to be a rhyming book. No word is extraneous; it’s a rollicking ride the whole way through.
The art in this book is gorgeous, and kids will love all the fun details of cute animals loading up the train.
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad
The illustrations in this book are so lovely, I just want to look at them over and over. This book tells the story of ballerina Anna Pavlova, from her childhood through her untimely death, in a lyrical and gentle way.
It’s a great example of how nonfiction can be crafted using all the techniques of the best fiction stories.
I think I’m strangely drawn to stories with grumpy characters, because the next three books have pretty rude protagonists.
What can I say. I think they’re funny.
Please, Mr. Panda written and illustrated by Steve Antony
I heard Steve Antony speak at a recent children’s literature conference. He actually read the entire book to us at the conference and it was hilarious. This book is told entirely in dialogue–a device I’m liking a lot.
Mr. Panda has some donuts to give away. But before he’ll let them go, he expects a little politeness in return.
Leave Me Alone! written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol
A Caldecott Honor winner this year! A grandmother just wants some alone time to get some knitting done for her passel of grandchildren. In fact, she’ll go pretty far to make it happen.
I Want My Hat Back written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
Like Please, Mr. Panda, this book is told entirely in dialogue. The art picks up the slack to fill in the holes in the text–in a pretty funny way.
The bear is looking for his hat. But when he finally finds it, he almost doesn’t realize it.
Okay, that’s it for now! More books later.