July 29, 2013

Picturebooks For Adults

Let's face it: there are some picturebooks out there that really just aren't for kids. I'm talking about the picturebooks that have profanity, feature grotesquely gory deaths, and have an air of sarcasm to them that almost pokes fun at picturebooks altogether. I think one of the most well-known is probably Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortés. The book mimics the tone, rhythm, and imagery of a nursery book, but it's doubtful you would want your child to read it. It features some heavy profanity, and the illustrations are jarring and dark despite the fact that they evoke the mainstream appearance of a "go to bed" book. Even the endpapers are black. So if this book isn't for children, who's it for? Parents, of course. As a quote on the back of the book says, this picturebook" is the secret anthem of tired parents everywhere." Here are some interiors:

July 22, 2013

Flaps, Layers, and Movable Parts

How was everyone's weekend?? It's pretty crazy that we're almost done with July...it feels like the months are going by so fast!

Today's oh-so-fun motif is [drumroll, please...] flaps! So many books utilize flaps, layered pages, and movable parts to enhance the reading experience and further engage readers: in order to get the most out of the narrative, the reader must lift flaps, peel apart layers, and move pieces of the illustrations. Let's dive in with a definite Caldecott contender (and a book everyone has been talking about since it came out in February), Flora and the Flamingo. Molly Idle takes the idea of showing movement through illustration to a whole new level, utilizing layers rather than multiple illustrations on one page. Here's a perfect example:

Before the flaps are folded down
And after the flaps are folded

July 15, 2013

Exceptional Pets

I can safely say that this post is going to be one of that hardest to narrow down. There are so many picturebooks out there these days about exceptional pets. My stack of books is so large even Toothless is at a loss:

July 8, 2013

Non-Traditional Families

So I had heard wonderful things about both the narrative and the illustrations in Justin Richardson's and Peter Parnell's And Tango Makes Three. Although it's been around a while, I finally got my hands on it a few days ago, and it definitely didn't disappoint. Based on the true story of two male penguins who partner with each other instead of finding female mates, And Tango Makes Three is the story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins who end up raising a baby penguin together. A zookeeper notices that two of the male penguins are acting as though they are a couple--they sleep together, cuddle, and spend most of their time with each other. When other penguin couples' eggs start hatching the two male penguins "adopt" a rock with the hope of it hatching a baby for them. The zookeeper notes Roy and Silo's dedication to the rock, and ends up giving the couple an egg to nurture. And thus a non-traditional family is born. It's a wonderful and heartwarming story, and the illustrations are just as touching: