Author: Photography: Jake Green; Art Direction: Melanie Mues; Editor: James Cartwright Publisher: The Bookmaker’s Studio, 2015; Printers: Hacksmith Press Ages: all Themes: children’s picture book illustrators, illustration, design Opening/Introduction:Making books for kids is a humbling profession; months and years of character developing, story refining, composition adjusting, and dummy approving to which your audience will be forever indifferent.
Summary: (from the kickstarter page) A glimpse inside the studios and minds of some of the world’s best living children’s picturebook makers. A limited edition photo book.
I supported this kickstarter project because: I am curious, nosy, interested and delighted to have a glimpse into the working spaces of other artists.
Resources/activities: Have children list all the things they recognize in the artist’s studios as tools they know or own themselves, then make a second list of things they are surprised to see in an artist’s studio; Discuss how picture books are made.
For existing PPBF selections, including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE; for todays’ fresh picks, click HERE
This selection is one of seven finalists for fiction picture books, and I am a participating judge for round 2. Which means I have to read them. Tough work, huh? For information on the Cybils Awards, click HERE
Author/Illustrator: Chris Haughton Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2014 Ages: 3-7yrs (according to Amazon, but I think the younger in the range would enjoy it more) Themes: trapping, birds, compassion, observation Opening:Look! a bird Summary: (from Amazon) Four friends creep through the woods, and what do they spot? An exquisite bird high in a tree! “Hello birdie,” waves one. “Shh! We have a plan,” hush the others. They stealthily make their advance, nets in the air. Ready one, ready two, ready three, and go! But as one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion, hand outstretched, has a far better idea.
I like this book because: it is both humorous and deep. On reading it again I realized an extra layer, that beyond there being more ways to accomplish a task, there are more ways to interact with your environment. The illustrations, as you see, are bold and bright, which stand in glorious juxtaposition to the quiet message midst the humor and excitement. The illustrations have much more to surprise you with than I am willing to spoil by sharing! Check it out!
Resources/activities: great companion read when discussing problem-solving, opposing viewpoints or respect for nature; use in the art room when discussing use of warm and cold colors; make torn-paper pictures using complimentary colors.
For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE
Inspired by this post on the B&N blog: Books Made Better When Read Together, my online writer’s critique group decided to come up with a few of our own – for picture books, which you can see and read about HEREon Marcie Colleen’s blog, The Write Routine.
Big, Bad Bunny written by Fran Billingsley, illustrated by G.Brian Karas, Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2008
and The Black Rabbit, created by Philippa Leathers, Candlewick Press, 2013
And the second pairing:
Owl Babies, written by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson, Candlewick, 1992
and Little Lost Owl, created by Chris Haughton, Candlewick, 2010
Author/Illustrator: Chris Haughton (interview) Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012 Age Level: 2 and up Themes: dogs, temptation, humor
Opening: Harry is going out. “Will you be good, George?” asks Harry.
“Yes,” says George. “I’ll be very good.” Summary: (from Candlewick) Bold, hilarious artwork captures the innocent charm of affable George, a dog who is trying to be good – with disastrous results. Why I like this book: Bright, charming and irresistible! A lot of reviewers refer to the ‘retro’ illustrations, but I can’t agree: I find them fresh and exhilarating! One of the few PBs I’ve had to read over and over – in quick succession! So simple, yet so brilliant! All dog owners will take to this story, but also people like me, who sometimes just cannot resist indulging even when I know better. I just polished off a bowl of chips with onion dip. Every time I feel crummy afterwards, but every time I can’t seem to help myself! I hope George is not plagued by these feelings of guilt too! Resources/Activities: the making of – story behind the book; bake this raspberry and strawberry cake, inspired by Oh No, George!
Click HERE to check out other Perfect Picture Book picks, today and everyday, on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog