Thursday, September 25, 2008

On The Farm

by David Elliott; Illustrations by Holly Meade

Holly Meade is a Caldecott Honor artist for Hush! A Thai Lullaby, but in On the Farm she uses woodcuts for the first time. The woodcuts are printed in black, then colored with watercolors. I love how the watercolors "spill" outside the woodcut lines. The text is short, simple poems about farm animals, and Holly Meade echoes this simplicity by making her subjects fill the whole page: one big pig, or three big rabbits.

Get the book.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


by Cathryn Falwell

Six turtles are quiet and still on a log in a pond, while all around them the other animals are engaged in great activity! Cathryn Falwell has used cut-paper collage in her other books, but here she includes not only different types of paper, but mixed media and ink as well, for complex and textured images.

Get the book.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum

by Kate Bernheimer

Once there was a girl who lived in a castle. The castle was inside a museum. When children visited, they’d press against the glass globe in which the castle sat, to glimpse the tiny girl. But when they went home, the girl was lonely. Then one day, she had an idea! What if you hung a picture of yourself inside the castle inside the museum, inside this book? Then you’d able to keep the girl company. Reminiscent of “The Lady of Shalot,” here is an original fairy tale that feels like a dream–haunting, beautiful, and completely unforgettable.

Get the book.

I haven't actually read this one, but it intrigued me when I saw it on a cart to be processed. It appeared intricate and detailed--one for which you would want to have time to study the pictures.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Building Manhattan

by Laura Vila

A history of Manhattan for young kids, with full-color, full-page, every-inch-covered illustrations. The busy pictures give a feel for the busy place!

Get the book.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In a Blue Room

Written by Jim Averbeck; illustrated by Tricia Tusa

Tricia Tusa has illustrated roughly 9 zillion wonderful picture books (check out the recent Fred Stays with Me) but in this good-night story she really shines! She has such a delicate touch with detail and balance. Her art is charming without being sticky-sweet or precious. I love the design of the book: illustrations on one side, the words on the other--until the end of the book when "off goes the lamp and in comes the moon" and the full-page spreads are infused with exactly the right color of blue.

Get the book and slip into some sweet dreams!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Friday My Radio Flyer Flew

by Zachary Pullen

What do you do with an old red wagon?

Well, that depends. If the wagon in question is a trusty old Radio Flyer discovered while exploring the attic with your dad, and if you have a penchant for flying machines, then you may have just found the perfect way to get your dreams off the ground.

Get the book.

I love this one!

Max's Dragon

by Kate Banks; illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Max is looking for words that rhyme and finds a dragon on an umbrella that sets off an imaginative adventure. I love the composition of each page & the European feel to the illustrations.

Check out the book.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The House in the Night

Written by Susan Marie Swanson; illustrated by Beth Krommes

The House in the Night was inspired by the Mother Goose rhyme, "This Is The Key Of The Kingdom" and the unique black scratchboard illustrations do a great job echoing that pattern: each two page spread draws you a little further into the story, then brings you step by step back home.

Krommes won an Henry Bergh Children's Book Award for illustration for her book Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow.

Check out House; check out Butterfly!

There's also a rhapsodic review over at Fuse #8.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Round Like a Ball!

Written and illlustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst

A delightful guessing game...what IS round like a ball? The illustrations are lively with a die-cut circle that gets bigger on each page, giving more clues to the answer. Rich colors, well designed.

Read the book!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

Written and illustrated by Marla Frazee.

Two boys go to nature camp for a week. But the best part is how the illustrations tell a story separate from the words, then at the end, tell a story that really can't be told in words.

Get the book and see what I mean!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tadpole Rex

By Kurt Cyrus

Rex is a tiny tadpole who can't wait to grow up and be big like everybody else. Unfortunately for Rex, he lives in a prehistoric swamp . . . and everybody else is a gigantic dinosaur!

Get the book.