Sep 13, 2014

More Recent Releases of Note

Some books defy categorization. They appear to be meant for children, but they find and burrow into the hearts of adults, holding a place bordering on sacred. Some feel that way about THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, THE GIVING TREE, and THE LITTLE PRINCE. 

No one in their right might would try to "mess around" with titles like these, right? 
Take a look at this remarkable approach to that very challenge in THE PILOT AND THE LITTLE PRINCE, by author/illustrator PETER SIS.
Leave it to Peter Sis to take an iconic, ethereal story, one that holds a mythic place in many minds. He manages to capture that essence within the facts of the author's life. The images, book design, moods and tones of this book merit the same careful reading and reflection that we give to "The Little Prince". 
Adults who love it may struggle with the tiny, delicate side notes, and may long for more detailed author notes, but young readers won't mind a bit. The varied text styles, gossamer illustrations, colors, and moods will be savored by young readers, even those so young that the biographic content is beyond their understanding. Don't miss it.
Beach Lane Books, 2014

Now, back down to earth with SOME BUGS, written by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. 

Fantastic in every way- bug-lovers and bug-yuck-ers alike will adore this book. The colorful, expressive, layered, and slightly wacky illustrations are the perfect foil to the sleek, slippery, syncopated rhyming verses. Each line suggests simple facts, but relates to complex information about a single species or a family of insects which can be further researched and explored.
The ultimate surprise, revealed on the final double spread, is that these nearly cartoonish critters are scientifically accurate in detail and relative size.
Consider using this as mentor text for poetry writing with non-fiction themes, word choice for specific verbs, and as an example of alternate reporting on research topics.

What are some other titles you can think of that work on multiple levels? The best should, of course, entertain and appeal, but offer complex layers for a variety of readers (of many ages). Share your favorites in the comments.

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Picture books are as versatile and diverse as the readers who enjoy them. Join me to explore the wacky, wonderful, challenging and changing world of picture books.