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

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 this year, and one of my top 10  picture book creators. To create a master list is near impossible because I love different picture books...

read more

More than just a novelty: the art of die-cut picture books...

by

I think  ‘novelty’  is a rather unfortunate term commonly used to reference certain types of children’s books. I suppose books that use die-cuts or other techniques in their printing process are seen as ‘jazzed up’, and hence have a novelty factor. It still bothers me that just because these books have something more than the regular printed page, they are often times considered slightly better because of their  bells and whistles. It is very similar to how many people equate good apps as those with more animation and interactivity, losing track of the fact that at its core a successful kid’s app is one with a great story. A lot of the time these types of ‘special effects’  distract from, rather than focus on, the essential storytelling aspect. However, when creators have a unique story,...

read more

An eclectic group of good reads...

by

And Then It’s Spring  is an enchanting picture book written by Julie Fogliani and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten!   is another charming read written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. Do they have anything in common? Well they did both win the  2013 Ezra Jack Keats Award for New Writer and New Illustrator , which I spoke about in this post.   Let’s start with And Then It’s Spring. Too often picture books and children’s books are littered with horribly bad rhymes and verse. I’m almost allergic to it now. This book on the other hand reads like a soft, gentle ode to spring; so naturally lyrical. It is poetic in the most beautiful way. Combined with Erin Stead’s gorgeous wood block print illustrations, it’s a true winner. I was already a...

read more

Celebrating “The Book”: The works of Suzy Lee...

by

I can safely say that one of my favorite picture book creators of all time is Suzy Lee. I own every book she’s made expect for the few that don’t have English editions. I’m hoping that there will eventually be translations, and that I can read them someday. But I’m thrilled that I got my hands on her latest work as illustrator called Open This Little Book.  The concept behind this gem came from the imaginative mind of the author, Jesse Klausmeier. This great little interview with the author/illustrator duo will give you some background on their creative and collaborative process. The result of their combined efforts is the most innovative book I’ve seen so far this year.   As much as I’d love to share pictures of the inside pages to show you just how ingenious...

read more