Concept picture books: a much-needed multicultural spin...

Oct 7, 2013 by

Round is a Tortilla has a refreshing take on the common concept picture book about shapes. Usually these kind of books target very young readers, and hence there isn’t a narrative; there are typically words with accompanying pictures. What I really loved about this book was how Roseanne Greenfield Thong‘s charming text and John Parra‘s gorgeous illustrations transport you into a distinctly Hispanic cultural space with a wonderful Latino flavor to it. Even though at its core it is still a ‘list’ book (where there isn’t really a plot), both the written and visual narrative elevate it to something more meaningful and creative than your standard concept book.   Spanish words pepper the rhyming English narration, and make for a great read-aloud experience. I’m not usually a big fan of rhyming text, but it’s quite effective...

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Not what they seem: playing with perception in picture books...

Oct 4, 2013 by

The most encouraging sign in the exploration of a form is when people really begin to think outside of its set definitions. It’s not every day you find a picture book that plays with readers’ expectations and takes them on a completely unexpected journey. Today I thought I’d talk about two books published this year that managed to do just that. Count the Monkeys is yet another example of the fabulous Mac Barnett‘s work. Anybody who is trying to be a picture book author, I think, should really do a study of his work to see just how creatively he thinks as an author. He understands that the medium is more visual, but he always comes up with witty and intelligent concepts that illustrators can then work with, which ultimately create a winning combination of both...

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It’s Picture Book Listmania Time! — AKA August 10 for 10 (#pb10for10)...

Aug 10, 2013 by

August 10 for 10 began in 2010 when Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek decided it would be a great idea, and wonderful resource, for people to share their 10 favorite picture books on the 10th of August. Cathy speaks about the history of  how the event started on her blog, and I’m sure there are going to be many, many awesome lists being put together to celebrate. And in that spirit, let me share mine. I have been waiting for an opportunity to talk about  picture books I love, so I might go into somewhat of a fervor; forgive me. I’ve decided to share two lists: one of my favorite picture books that I’ve read so far in 2013 (some are published earlier than that, but I read them only this year), and one of my top 10  picture book creators. To...

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Experiments in papercutting – II...

Jul 10, 2013 by

I’m working on an idea for a new book with paper-cut illustrations. Even though my concept is for a digital book, I like the idea of using paper-cut pictures because it gives it a more 3D feel than the flatness you sometimes get with digital art. Doing it this way, I also have the freedom to move the pieces around, like a puppeteer. It’s a little time-consuming, but entertaining process. Looks like somebody’s angry, huh? I was a little scared myself, when I finished. Poor kid! What do you think? Let’s see what comes out of it.  Stay tuned for more! P.S If you’re curious about how the first papercutting experiment went, go here....

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