I hope you've already met BRIAN LIES (looks like "lies" but rhymes with "cheese").
Just in case you're not familiar with his work, the 2012 release of MORE, by I. C. Springman and illustrated by Brian Lies, is an ideal introduction.
An incredibly intense visual experience combines with a few perfectly chosen words to create a marvelous story arc in this recent release. This book uses a progression of descriptive "quantity" words to indicate increasing amounts from nothing to something to enough on to too much. Then, like a receding tide, the story continues back to less, ending at the start- but not quite where it began.
If you aren't already a fan of birds, mice, and nature, not to mention magpies, you will be by the end of this book. The multiple subplots and subtexts, the expressive faces and body language, and the depth of theme make multiple rereadings and close examination a treat. The intricacies and humor of the details are utterly irresistible.
While the obvious theme is "Less is More", it also explores friendship, community efforts, and loyalty.
As Levar Burton always says on Reading Rainbow: "But don't take my word for it..." Other rave reviews about MORE can be found at KIRKUS REVIEWS and GEEKDAD blog.
I'm an admitted bird-lover. Have been since I was a child. I came to an appreciation of bats much later in life. Separating fact from myth about bats with third graders will do that for you.
So will reading Brian Lies's titles about bats: BATS AT THE BALLGAME, BATS AT THE BEACH, and BATS AT THE LIBRARY.
Then stop back and let me know what you think.
Be sure to check comments below- Brian Lies was kind enough to stop by with some thoughts about his illustration process for MORE.
Sal's Fiction Addiction blogged about MORE this week, too.