Picture Book Art

  1. The Orchestra Pit

    The Orchestra Pit

    A wide-eyed spotted snake from the zoo wanders into “the wrong pit,” and wends its way among the instruments of an orchestra: brass, winds, strings, percussion.  It is impressed by all the sights and sounds—and hiding places: charmed by the oboe, cozy in the tuba.  The snake’s fascination is not returned by the musicians, however, and the zookeeper is summoned.  Time to hide!  As the musicians warm up their instruments, the snake likens the sounds to those of other animals in the zoo.

  2. Little Boo

    Little Boo

    A tiny pumpkin seed has one goal in its life: to be SCARY!  “Boo!” it cries, to leaf and snowflake, grub to grasshopper.  They are not in the least frightened, but the wind encourages the seed: “It’s not time for scaring…not yet.  Be patient.  You’ll soon be scary enough.”  As the seasons turn, the seed has some turning of its own to do: to spring sprout, to summer flower, to autumn pumpkin. Little Boo finds that, sometimes, we need to be patient and grow into our dreams in order for them to come true.  For Little Boo, that long-awaited time is Halloween!

  3. Mama Built a Little Nest

    It’s a science book!  It’s a rhyming story!  It’s a picture art book!

  4. Surprise

    Surprise

     

    This picture book first published in the Netherlands is a gem.  I loved it from the very first spread--a drawing of a bird opposite of the word yearning.  Followed by hoping, expecting, marveling--each showing a beautiful bird in a stage of parenting.  Each spread consists of a word opposite a bird--and the pages with words become increasingly more complex in design.  When I got to the final page, letting go, I was so impressed with the beauty of the book.  Mies Van Hout is becoming one of my favorite author/illustrators. 

  5. Hank Finds an Egg

    Hank Finds an Egg

    “Storywoods” blog creator Rebecca Dudley uses her expert photography and multi-media diorama art in this beautiful wordless picture book story featuring Hank, a sweet little animal of the woods. While on a walk, Hank finds an egg on the ground beneath a bird’s nest.   When he fails in his valiant attempts to return the egg to the nest before nightfall, Hank cares for the egg and keeps it warm until he can try again the next day.  This time, he has some help, and makes new friends as a result.

  6. Windblown (2013)

    Windblown

     

    In this fanciful tale, tiny scraps of paper in various shapes and colors become animals. Each animal claims the shapes belong to them. The chicken, “saw them lying around!” The fish “cut the paper into pieces.” Each animal has a good reason for believing the paper belongs to them, but just then the wind blows the paper over to you. It just might be that the shapes of paper really belong to you. What will you make out of them?

     

  7. Santa Claus and the Three Bears

    Santa Claus and the Three Bears

     In this clever, Christmassy take on a beloved fairytale, Papa, Mama and Baby are polar bears; when they are out walking, waiting for their Christmas pudding to cool, a certain special visitor comes to call, hungry and tired after finishing most of his holiday rounds.  Santa Claus thinks the pudding has been left for him, and thereby hangs the rest of the tale!  Santa, the bears, and their cozy house and surroundings are charmingly detailed in soft watercolors by mother-daughter duo Jane and Brooke Dyer.

     

  8. The House that Santa Built

    The House that Santa Built

    A traditional nursery rhyme is given a cute Christmas twist with a little help from Santa Claus, and a lot from de Las Casas and Stone-Barker.  Based on “The House that Jack Built,” and similar to the team's Halloween version, The House that Witchy Built, The House that Santa Built is a rollicking romp of rhythm, with elves and reindeer and snow  and—of course—children taking part of the arctic antics in and out of Santa’s castle.   The cut-paper collage illustrations are fun and fanciful.   There are plenty of sound effects that make this a p

  9. Christmas Chaos

    Christmas Chaos
    Zoo Hideout

    Are you looking for a fun gift idea?  Something new for “Where’s Waldo” fans?  Or just a way to keep the kiddos busy while they wait for Christmas?  Then bring a little “Christmas Chaos” into your life!  It’s one of several books in the “Seek It Out” series by Picture Window Books, a division of Capstone Press.  The book features 14 scenes, laid out in two-page spreads, which feature a different winter holiday experience: the center of a busy shopping mall, Santa’s workshop, ski slope, skating rink, a gingerbread village, a Kwanzaa celebration, among others

  10. Only a Witch Can Fly

    Only a Witch Can Fly

    No tricks, just treats!  There are many great books with Halloween stories and poems, and many are currently on display at the library.  One of my favorites is Alison McGhee’s Only a Witch Can Fly.  The author uses a beautiful old form of poetry with a mesmerizing rhythm, to relate the feelings of a young girl who longs to fly on a chilly but enchanted Halloween night, even if it means leaving the warmth of home, familiar things, and doubts and fears behind.

  11. Tito Puente, Mambo King /Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo

    Tito Puente, Mambo King /Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo

    This bilingual English/Spanish book celebrates the life of the great Latin Jazz musician Ernest “Tito” Puente (1923-2000).  Readers learn about Tito in different stages of his life: as a baby (in New York City of Puerto Rican parents), banging out rhythms on pots and pans; as a kid drumming and dancing his way to talent show success (but still finding time to play baseball with the neighborhood kids); as a young man in the Navy serving his country while developing his gift of playing and writing music; and as a professional musician who wins fame, fortune, love and admiration by using

  12. Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights

    Jane Eyre
    Wuthering Heights

     

    The Little Miss Bronte series, part of the BabyLit book series published by Gibbs Smith, are an elegant way to introduce the youngest child to the world of classical literature.  Jane Eyre is a counting primer, and counts drawings, trees, pearls, and books, with quotes interspersed, such as "this book I had again and again perused with delight".

    Wuthering Heights is a weather primer, so for breezy, the quote is "the weather was sweet and warm" and for stormy we read, "the storm came rattling over the Heights in full fury." 

  13. Inside Outside

    Inside Outside

    These opposites, and other concepts, are delightfully explored in this wordless picture book by artist Lizi Boyd.  The front cover depicts a boy, dog at his side, peering out the window of a cheery house, while birds and other creatures fly and frolic in the yard.   On the title page, the boy is at the open door, inviting the reader/viewer into his peaceful, happy world of dreams, plans, projects and play.  Inside, he contentedly makes preparations for spring planting, while out the windows, two snowmen are in view.  Each subsequent page shows a scene from a room in

  14. Let's Sing a Lullaby With the Brave Cowboy

    Let's Sing a Lullaby With the Brave Cowboy

    I love Jan Thomas’ silly, charming books with her bold, colorful comic-style illustrations, from Rhyming Dust Bunnies to Is Everyone Ready for Fun?  Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy is her latest to date, and in my opinion, another hit. The cowboy of the title is actually not so brave; in his attempts to settle his cows down for the night, he interrupts his own lullaby with startled exclamations about what he imagines is lurking in the dark.  The cows calm and reassure him--until, that is,  something really IS in the shadows!

  15. Green

    Green

    We’re in the midst of a white winter wonderland in Wisconsin.  But for those who long for something green, you’ll find it, in all its many shades, in this lovely picture book.  Author/artist Seeger combines simple rhyming text, lush paint-on-canvas illustrations and with cleverly positioned cut out accents, inviting readers to explore and enjoy the presence (and sometimes absence) of green in nature and in everyday objects.

  16. Perfect Square

    Perfect Square

    This picture book surely lives up to its name. Not only is its story about a square, it is square! The book's shape is just one of many creative details that make this book so delightful. And it is just about perfect, too, with a clever but simple story, a good message, and colorful, playful, beautiful illustrations by artist and author Michael Hall. A perfect square is happy being just that, square and perfect.

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