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Posts tagged ‘art’

The year of picture books!

It has been a very long time since I’ve posted here. Embarrassingly long in blog-world time. But I’ve been busy, I’ve been reading books like mad (are you following me on Twitter @annavalley?) So, here are some of my favourites from 2018, as well as a couple of lists I’ve created.

First, the lists:  ***Favourite Picture Books *** Favourite Informational Books ***Favourite Chapter Books ***Favourite YA

And now, some of the best books I’ve come across this year, with links to place holds.Please note I said SOME. There’s not time or room to feature all of the books I think you should look at. Go up to those lists and see how many more there are!

 

Adrian Simcoxboats on the bay book cover does NOT have a horse / written by Marcy Campbell ; illustrated by Corinna Luyken Using white space to the utmost, this story of imagination and acceptance will make you sigh when you get to the denouement. Open this one up, enjoy the whole book, and see what that wrap-around cover tells you .

Boats on the bay  words by Jeanne Walker Harvey ; pictures by Grady McFerrin.  The text is easy to read, and a good way to build some maritime vocabulary. But the illustrations are what make this book rise to the top. The watercolour illustrations fit so well with the watery theme, turning each boat into a work of art.

book cover with two childrenBuilders & breakers by Steve Light.  With deceptively simple text this book might get passed over. But take a look at the excellent book design here. The story begins on the title page, is deepened with end papers and a secret look on the board covers. What a grand example of illustration advancing the story!

Deep underwater by Irene Luxbacher. I’m currently obsessed with mermaids underater sceneand underwater stories, so this one really spoke to me. I love the whimsy and watery scenes in this book. Lovely.

 

Drawn together , written by Minh Lê ; illustrated by Dan Santat. If you are a regular reader of this blog you might think I am a big fan of Dan Santat, and you’d be right. I have to include this one because it is just a brilliant example of illustration fitted in with a heart-warming story of inter-generational understanding.

Hansel & Gretel by Bethan Woollvin. I am also a huge fan of Bethan Woolvin. She has some sort of alien connection to fairy tales, where she is able to perfectly turn them on their heads every single time. Funny, wry, and feminist, her stories are taking these old tales to a new level. Huzzah!

I don’t want to go to sleep,  written by Dev Petty ; illustrated by Mike Boldt. Reluctant hibernating Frog made me laugh out loud. Good enough reason to include it in my favourites. boy inmermaid costume

Julián is a mermaid by Jessica Love. Remember what I said about mermaids? Well, Julian is obsessed with them, too, and his grandmother is happy to cultivate that obsession. I just love this book so much, I hug it every time I read it. If you have not seen it yet, place a hold on it right now. Not only is the story a good one, the illustrations are delightful.

Look by Fiona Woodcock. Never have two O’s next to each other been given such a fantastic treatment. Balloons, food, and a trip to the zoo make this my ballons and textchoice for the best illustrated vocabulary and language arts book of the year.

The origin of day and night by Paula Ikuutaq Rumbolt ; illustrations by Lenny Lishchenko. Inuit publishing house Inhabit Media comes out with some beauties every year. The illustrations in this one put is up in my favs, but there’s a good story, too!

Winter is here / by Kevin Henkes ; illustrated by Laura Dronzek. I don’t really want Winter to be here, but Kevin Henkes almost makes me feel ok about it. Another beauty exploring seasons from the Henkes/Dronzek team.

A world of kindness / from the editors & illustrators of Pajama Press. This is the kind of book I want to buy for every classroom in all the elementary schools. With simple statements and a variety of artists illustrating them, it is a daily reminder of how to be kind. Couldn’t  we all use a little of that these days? hands in a heart shape

Ok, there you have some of my favourite picture books of the year. What are your favourites? What did I miss? I might (please note I said might) have enough time this month to do the same for informational books. Until the next time, follow me on Twitter and watch for the #PictureBookPile tweets! Happy reading.

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Flowers and art and dance

My latest stack of picture books happens to have some nice non-fiction in it, as well as some poetry. Since April is Poetry Month, let’s start with Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms., by Robert Paul Weston, illustrated by Misa Saburi.   When a young girl has to leave her grandmother and the joy of all she knows in Japan, she is sad. She moves to the US, and finally makes a friend. They go back to Japan to see grandmother, who is ill, and when she returns back to her new home, her friend is excited to show her Spring, and the cherry blossoms there. It is possible that grandma has died– but not absolutely certain. The book is striking, though, and is written in tankaa traditional Japanese poetry form. So it could be a good mentor text for poetry lessons; probably not the best choice for preschool storytimes.  book cover with woman and dots

If you are looking for a good art book to share, pick up Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infiinty by Sarah Suzuki, illustrated by Ellen Weinstein. This one also begins in Japan, with a girl who loves art. Her family is not so keen on her being an artist, but she is determined, and follows her dream. Kusama becomes an artist who works with dots, and becomes quite well known. The illustrations are captivating, as is her life story. This book made me want to see more of her work, and it would make a great artist study for classrooms.

Have you ever seen someone dance, and thought, “I want to be able to do that!”  Well, that’s what Amalia Hernandez thought as a child when she saw traditional dance in a village in her native Mexico. Her book cover with dancer in red skirtlifelong love of dance became a world-wide phenomenon as she created Ballet Folklorico. Read about her in Duncan Tonatiuh’s Danza! : Amalia Hernández and el Ballet Folklórico de México. Illustrated in his signature style, the story of this dance comes to life in the pages of this book.

That’s all for this time. If you want more books,  follow me on Twitter @annavalley for my #picturebookpile posts!

Picture Book Month – Tattooable books, 2016

Kid-lit tattoosimg_1951 are a Thing. I know, I have one. The Caldecott 2015 Committee has several tattoo stories. It is not unusual to spot a picture-book tattoo at ALA conferences. Last year in Orlando, at least 3 people at my table had tattoos from books, including this one from Miss Mary Daisycakes.  So, I started thinking about what might be the most tattooable books of 2016. I have my own favs, but I also thought I would ask the experts (aka, the other members of the 2015 Caldecott Committee who got tattoos).

Roger Kelly chose the little monkey from The Airport Book by Lisa Brown, Roaring Brook Press. I can definitely see this charismatic character as a tattoo, and I can see why Roger chose it. Besides being cute, this little monkey serves to move the story forward in a visual manner. Monkey provides tension and story, relevant to a young reader,  in a book that would otherwise just be about taking an airplane  trip. roger-airport

adrienne-hat-1Adrienne Furness chose the “shifty-eyed turtle” from Jon Klassen’s We Found A Hat;  Candlewick Press. She says “every single time I look at this book, which has been a lot, he makes me laugh.” I agree with Adrienne; those eyes do so much to tell the story and show us the complicated emotions of the turtle characters.

Sharon McKellar weighed in with a book I was not very familiar with, but have since come to appreciate. The art is something to pore over, and would certainly be lovely as a tattoo. Sharon chose the foxes from 123 Dream by Kim Krans; Random House. sharon-123-dreamI wonder if these two baby foxes appeal to her mother-of-twins heart. That mama fox is fiercely watching over those kits. Sharon says she’d put this on the back of her shoulder. If  you don’t know this book, take a look at it. Beautiful pen and ink renderings of flora and fauna.

Ok, now for my choices. I couldn’t pick just one. Good thing I don’t live near a tattoo shop like Black & Blue in San Francisco (where Roger, Sharon, Victoria Stapleton, and I got our Caldetatts). Because I’d likely have very little ink-free skin if I did! My first choice would be a large back piece of the tree dragon from The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers; Schuster Books for Young Readers. I love the detail and all the leaves. This tattoo would probably hurt like the dickens because in order for it to be effective, it would have to be a wholimg_4319e back piece, maybe with those tree trunks wrapping around the waist. This whole book is gorgeous, but this dragon really stopped me in my tracks.

Next up is a playful choice from Thunder Boy Jr., by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Yuyi Morales; Little, Brown, and Company. The colours and movement in this book are soimg_5594 appealing, and there are so many little details to look at. This little alligator toy really makes me happy, though, and I would certainly be fine with having it permanently on my skin.

So, do tattooable books make award winners? We will just have to see, won’t we? I certainly think all of these books have amazing illustrations. They all speak to picture-book lovers for some reason. What do you think? Do YOU have a tattooable choice for a book published in 2016? Tell me in the comments!

 

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