I’ve decided—after Tuesday’s visit with Hiroe Nakata—to feature even more picture books this week that are perfect for your wee’est of children, as Hiroe’s illustrated titles are. I’m talkin’ some more preschool fare from three picture-book creators that rarely, if ever, steer you wrong for this age range: Ashley Bryan, Lois Ehlert, and Denise Fleming. All three of them brought us some colorful (in more ways than one) titles this year. In terms of palette, I mean to say it’s like a rainbow spontaneously combusted this morning here at 7-Imp.
If you saw the glorious collage art from 2007’s Let It Shine, another of Bryan’s picture book adaptations of a beloved hymn, you know what you’re in for with this new title: I can’t remember where I read that Ashley calls this “scissor art,” but I believe he does. “Every spread is a riot of colors, movement, and natural splendors,” writes Publishers Weekly, calling it “a triumphal vision of creation.” This title simply exudes joy, and School Library Journal calls it a masterpiece.
I’m happy to have these two spreads to show you this morning, but you really must hold this book in your hands and experience these vibrant collages with your own eyes. The end pages feature an image of Bryan’s mother’s embroidery scissors that he, in turn, used to cut the papers for all the collages in the book.
And if you’re a collage—or poetry—fan, Lois Ehlert brings us another wonderful title for the youngest of readers/listeners, this one a collection of poems (ranging from silly to factual) about how animals camouflage and adorn themselves. Lots of Spots, released by Beach Lane Books in July, features four-line verses about the spots, stripes, patches, and horns of various creatures. “The layers of handmade paper—brightly colored and often richly textured—that form each critter, crisply arranged on a white background, lend a sense of up-close immediacy,” writes Publishers Weekly. See for yourself. You can click to super-size these Ehlert spreads. I highly recommend it:
“Dappled spots / conceal newborn deer. / As the fawns grow, / their spots disappear.”
“A moth’s / flight / awaits / moonlight.”
And, finally, earlier this month, Henry Holt brought us Denise Fleming’s Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy — just in time for bed. This book features a line-up of sleepy creatures, “sleepy, oh so sleepy,” including the final spread of a wee human babe. Denise’s “pulp paintings”—a paper-making technique using colored cotton fiber poured through hand-cut stencils—are a wonder to see, giving this book “just the right tone,” writes the School Library Journal review.
You can click to enlarge these spreads. Enjoy!
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL. Copyright 2010 by Ashley Bryan. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, NY.
LOTS OF SPOTS. Copyright 2010 by Lois Ehlert. Published by Beach Lane Books, New York, NY.
SLEEPY, OH SO SLEEPY. Copyright 2010 by Denise Fleming. Published by Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY.