September 27, 2016

Fishing for Complements

Today we're talking about complementary colors. Complementary colors are the two colors that sit across from each other on the color wheel: Red-Green, Blue-Orange, and Yellow-Purple. Being on opposite sides of the color wheel means that these duos complement each other the most: blue makes orange more orange, orange makes blue more blue. So when illustrators choose to illustrate a picture book using only complementary colors, it's almost always visually stunning.

September 25, 2016


Picture books that break the fourth wall are common, but picture books that use the structure of the book itself to interact with the reader are definitely harder to come by. Enter This Is My Book! by Mark Pett!

September 21, 2016


I don't know how I resisted Deborah Marcero's Ursa's Light for five and a half months! It's one of those magical books that has somehow magically alluded me for an embarrassingly long amount of time. So when I was in the UK the other week and I saw it in a bookstore, I knew it was finally time to get it. Best. Decision. Ever.

September 20, 2016

Let's Talk Janet Hill

Back in January at the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference, I saw Janet Hill's Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess for the first time. I remember walking past the book, picking up a poster (finally framed it last week!!), and then eyeing the book for the rest of the day as I walked back and forth across the display floor.

I think you know where this is going...


September 19, 2016


TOTO'S APPLE by Mathieu Lavoie is one of the cutest, most understated books I've read in a long while. Toto the worm is on the ground when he sees an apple in a tree. But he's down low and the apple is up high. It seems like such a simple story, and yet it explores the complexities of life and working to achieve goals.
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September 14, 2016


Remember Jean-Luc Fromental and Joƫlle Jolivet, the duo that brought us 365 Penguins and Oops! ? Well they're back! And they're tackling the skeletal system in their new book Bonesville. When a beast begins to terrorize the residents of Bonesville, it's up to Detective Sherlock Bonesville to solve the case

A video posted by Mel Schuit (@spiky_penelope) on

September 13, 2016


Have you ever seen one of those accordion books that folds out into one giant story? They're not very common anymore, but these beautiful books are called leporellos. They're the perfect choice for visual storytelling because they are printed and folded accordion-pleat style which allows for a 3-D experience of the book.

Illustrators develop leporellos in different ways, utilizing its unique structure to fit a variety of purposes. Ping Zhu, for example, wordlessly recreates the story of Swan Lake (Flying Eye Books, 2014) so that it can literally be connected at both ends: one side shows a theater full of spectators watching the ballet and the other shows the dancers getting ready and more of the behind-the-scenes moments. Since the stories run in parallel, the ends can be connected to essentially show what's happening in all the areas around the building. It's beautiful.