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Friday, July 5, 2013

Reviews (a couple of my inspirations) and thar be a coloring page, matey!

I was lucky enough to land a few F & Gs  (Folds and Gathers, the printed book before final proof and boards are added), thanks to the wonderful Nina Sachs at Walker Memorial. For this week and next weeks' book reviews. I like mixing the old with the new, but it's good to see the new. Especially where previous favorites are either still working or finding successes with their original stories. Two of the people who inspired me to want to illustrate for kids are included in this week's review. Floyd Cooper and Patricia Polacco.

Fox Forgets
Suzanne Bloom
Boyds Mills Press, 2013

Goose tells Fox to tell Bear he'll be right back. If you like Mo Williams' humor and simplicity this is the book for you. The illustrations are luscious something I love, and bear sparkles on the page with his form and emotion. I could almost hear the three year old trying to remind Fox what he keeps forgetting.

Books by Suzanne Bloom: The Bus for Us; A Splendid Friend Indeed (A Goose and Bear story); Girls A to Z (Eve Bunting, author); Piggy Monday: A Tale About Manners (Albert Whitman concept book); Melissa Parkington's Beautiful, Beautiful Hair (Pat Brisson, author); Treasure (A Goose and Bear story).

Paper Son
Helen Foster James & Virginia Shin-Mui Loh
Illustrated by Wilson Ong 
Sleeping Bear Press, Tales of Young Americans Series, 2013

The story of the journey from China to America, from Wang Lee to Fu Lee, it is the story of many Chinese immigrants and Angel Island. Poignant story, interspersed with the real immigrants' fear and longings: "Imprisoned in this wooden building, I am always sad and bored." The illustrations are masterful. This is a book for an older reader, a challenged reader, or a lover of history.

Books by Helen Foster James: S is for S'Mores (Lita Judge, illustrator); Little California (Little State) (Helle Urban, illustrator); Grandma Loves You (Petra Brown, illustrator); Author Day Adventures: Bringing Literacy to Life with an Author's Visit; E is for Enchantment: A New Mexico Alphabet (Discover America State by State) (Neecy Twinem, illustrator); Little America (Little Country) (Jeannie Brett, Glenn Monroe, Helle Urban, illustrators)
Books by Virginia Shin-Mui Loh: Jade Dragon (Carolyn Marsden, co author);
Books by Wilson Ong: T is for Tutu (Sports Alphabet) (Sonia Rodriguez and Kurt Browning, authors); Mommy Promises (Julie Steigemeyer, author); The Three Gifts (Patricia Cook Orr, author); Portrait of a Woman and Jesus: He Looks Through Your Eyes and into Your Heart- A Personal Journey (Barbara Quillen Egbert, author)

Max and the Tag Along Moon
Floyd Cooper
Philomel Books, and Imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2013

I confess my bias up front. Floyd Cooper can do no wrong. I think his art is amazing, he uses the "subtractive" method, and I will always love how his images not only feel real, they feel a part of the paper and their environment. A grandfather wishes his grandson Max farewell and tells him, "That ol' moon will always shine for you... on and on!". Sweet, swervy journey home, Max keeps track of the tag along moon. This is such a lovely book.

Books by Floyd Cooper: Ruth and the Green Book (Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Gwen Strauss, authors); Brick by Brick (Charles R. Smith Jr., author); These Hands (Margaret H. Mason, author, Golden Kite Honor); The Blacker the Berry (Joyce Carol Oates, author,  ALA midgrade Notable); Back of the Bus (Aaron Reynolds, author); Meet Danitra Brown (Nikki Grimes, author); Becoming Billie Holiday (Carole Boston Weatherford, author); Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation (Pat Sherman, author); Jump!: From the life of Michael Jordan.

W is for Wrigley: The Friendly Confines Alphabet

Brad Herzog
Sleeping Bear Press, 2013Illustrated by John Hanley

A wonderful history book, Herzog goes through the alphabet and tells Wrigley's story. Each letter has a poem smattered with the letter, as well as the history of the team, the field, and ultimately a culture. Again with the luscious photos, Hanley renders the illustrations like jewels, and has a wonderful eye for likeness.

Books by Brad Herzog: Francis and Eddie: The True Story of America's Underdogs (illustrated by Zachary Pullen); H is for Home Run: A Baseball Alphabet (Sports Alphabet) (illustrated by Melanie Rose); Little Baseball (Little Sports) (illustrated by Dog Bowles); Little Basketball (Little Sports) (illustrated by Dog Bowles); T is for Touchdown: A Football Alphabet (Sports Alphabet) (illustrated by Mark Braught); S is for Save the Planet: A How-To-Be Green Alphabet (Science Alphabet) (illustrated by Linda Holt Ayriss)

The Keeping Quilt (Anniversary 25th Edition)
Patricia Polacco
Simon and Schuster, Books for Young Readers, 2013

Another one who inspired me to try my hand at illustration, I love the graphic nature and exuberance of Polacco's illustrations. And no one writes of family better. The story of a family and how the simple things and traditions can tie us to each other, keeping memories alive. I love the story of the quilt is updated, and includes the power of a book. When a book, idea, tradition or object is embraced, it becomes a treasure. Such is this.

Books by Patricia Polacco: Thank you, Mr. Falker; Thunder Cake; Pink and Say; The Junkyard Wonders;  The Bee Tree; The Art of Miss Chew; When Lightning Comes in Jars (author, Ernest Polacco); The Butterfly; Mr. Lincoln's Way; Chicken Sunday; Babushka's Doll