Flashing and Gleaming with Sue Fliess and Khoa Le

h1 May 21st, 2020 by jules

“Swirl / Flow / Come and go”
(Click to enlarge spread)


Today, I’ve a few spreads from Flash and Gleam: Light in Our World (Millbrook, March 2020), written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Khoa Le. This is an exploration of light via a series of spare rhymes, as you can see in the spreads here — the light of fireflies, the lightning of a storm, rays of sunlight waking sleeping children, the light of a birthday candle, lights meant to heal, and much more.

Despite these everyday occurrences of light, illustrator Le also depicts a wide array of families who celebrate various religious holidays — an Indian family celebrating Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights); a family celebrating Christmas (with lights twinkling on a tree); a group of people enjoying the fireworks of the Fourth of July; a Thai family participating in a Yi Peng festival (sky lanterns alight); and a family celebrating Hanukkah (lighting a menorah). Le — who lives in Vietnam and has illustrated picture books published in a number of other countries — brings vividly colored and highly patterned artwork to these verses, as you can see here today.

The book’s backmatter includes a spread about both the science of light (text and a diagram that defines light, as well as notes on lightning, rainbows, the northern lights, fireflies, and moonlight) and a note on the celebrations and holidays included in the book.

Enjoy the spreads!


“Lights / Rise / Open eyes”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Burst / Create / Illuminate”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Gleam / Bright … / Say good night.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click cover to enlarge)


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FLASH AND GLEAM: LIGHT IN OUR WORLD. Text copyright © 2020 by Sue Fliess. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Khoa Le. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, MN.

One comment to “Flashing and Gleaming with Sue Fliess and Khoa Le”

  1. I write this as sunlight begins to stream through the leaves and into my studio. Light: what a profound subject. The illustrations are radiant.

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