Author/illustrator Laura Vaccaro Seeger has been called the “the Queen of the Concept Book” (the Horn Book), a title she’s earned with a slew of unique and exceedingly clever picture books, ones that make the ordinary extraordinary on many levels. For her 2007 title, First the Egg—which earned her a 2008 Caldecott Honor, as well as a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor—Sara London in the New York Times wrote that the “playground of perception seems to be Seeger’s most natural arena,” calling that book “a feat of ingenuity.” And you could say that ingenuity has driven many of her other beautifully-designed picture books as well (many using die-cuts), all pictured below, books in which children naturally delight in learning. “I have always been fascinated with concepts,” Seeger stated in her 2007 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award acceptance speech for Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories, “and making books is a way for me to share with children new ways to learn and conceptualize. It is my wish that my books will help children discover concepts, not just learn them — from the alphabet to colors to opposites; and on to the idea of negative space and the power of seeing, guessing and anticipating, and finding answers.”
But smart concept books aside, Seeger has also brought readers one of children’s literature’s most unforgettable and lovable duos, Dog and Bear. “What do a frisky dachshund and a slightly timid stuffed bear have in common?” she writes at her site. “They are best friends.” Dog and Bear appeared in 2007—winning many honors, including the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book—in three short and endearing stories, perfect for early readers. That book was followed by two more volumes of Dog and Bear tales, stories that emanate warmth and humor.
Laura’s newest title, Green (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, March 2012), also including die-cuts, has been met with rave reviews all-around and has even generated Caldecott buzz this early in the year. It’s just that good. Pamela Paul describes it as “one of those deceptively simple picture books that to the casual bookstore browser can seem to be about nothing much at all. But the reader who settles down and slowly pages through its gorgeous acrylic paintings or, better yet, reads it aloud to a young child, will find rich rewards.” In this one, Laura explores the color green, and I boldly say that you really must get a copy of this in your very own hands and read for yourself. Laura also says a bit more about it below.
I’m so glad Laura’s at the 7-Imp breakfast table this morning. Turns out that breakfast is her favorite meal of the day. (That makes two of us.) “Usually,” she told me, “I have two eggs over easy, half a grapefruit, a hollowed-out bagel with a little butter, and tea or coffee. Then I’m pretty much set for the day, unless, of course, there’s sushi on the menu later!”
I’ll set the table, while I get the basics from her before our breakfast chat. I thank her for visiting. Read the rest of this entry �