Review of Ballad

blexbolex_ballad

Ballad by Blexbolex; trans. from the 
French by Claudia Z. Bedrick; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Enchanted Lion    280 pp. 11/13    978-1-59270-137-7    $22.95 The French illustrator (Seasons, rev. 7/10; People, rev. 9/11) is as provocative as ever in this graphic celebration — and parody — of the very idea of story. Like Dr. Seuss’s […]

Things that stop and go

barton_my bus

Need a break from that perennial favorite Cars and Trucks and Things That Go? These four new transportation-themed picture books for preschoolers combine well-paced texts, dynamic illustrations, and entertaining stories — the perfect companion for daytime journeys and journeys into night. Byron Barton‘s My Bus (companion to My Car; Greenwillow, 2–4 years) takes readers along […]

Review of Stella’s Starliner

wells_stella's starliner

Stella’s Starliner by Rosemary Wells; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-1495-9    $15.99 Somewhere in the mountains, Stella the fox and her parents live in a mobile home by the side of the road. The Starliner meets all their needs. “Inside was a room for sleeping and a room for being […]

Picture Book Fix, the linked-up edition

barton_my bus

I assume you are all waiting next to your mailbox for the newest Horn Book magazine. It’s ALL ABOUT ILLUSTRATION, people! While you are waiting, here are a few teasers that have been released early for your picture book pleasure. Let me walk you through the digital content while you wait for the whole gorgeous […]

Byron Barton on My Bus

byron barton

In the March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer K. T. Horning asked author/illustrator Byron Barton about My Bus, his latest transportation celebration. Read the starred review here. K. T. Horning: Joe from My Bus and Sam from My Car (Greenwillow, 2001) seem to lead parallel lives. And yet Joe’s passengers are animals and Sam’s are […]

Review of My Bus

barton_my bus

My Bus by Byron Barton; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    40 pp. 4/14    978-0-06-228736-6    $16.99    g In a companion volume to My Car (rev. 11/01), we ride along with Joe as he drives Bus #123 across a bold-hued landscape populated with feline and canine passengers. “At my first stop, one dog gets on my […]

Art and artists

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Our special issue about illustration is out (and handsome and helpful, we hope). That’s Grace Lin’s desk on the cover; inside, a baker’s dozen of illustrators write about their favorite mediums, from pencil to pixels to paint to thread (Salley Mavor). We have also gone into the wayback machine to bring you in digital form […]

Three articles about making picture books

March/April 1998 Horn Book Magazine

The additional reading for our first class comes from Horn Book Magazine‘s classic 1998 special issue on picture books. After you’ve read them, please come back to this post to comment. And as always, I hope this discussion will include more than just my students! The articles in question are “The Words” by Charlotte Zolotow […]

I can do it myself!

lobel_taking care of mama rabbit

Preschool is all about gaining independence, and preschoolers aren’t afraid to let you know it. The protagonists of these new picture books test boundaries, learn big-kid tasks, and even begin to help others — all familiar experiences for preschoolers acquiring agency. The ten little rabbit siblings from Anita Lobel’s 10 Hungry Rabbits are back in […]

Review of Hello, Mr. Hulot

merveille_hello mr hulot

Hello, Mr. Hulot by David Merveille; 
illus. by the author Primary    NorthSouth    56 pp. 9/13    978-0-7358-4135-2    $17.95 Monsieur Hulot, a character invented and played by French filmmaker Jacques Tati in such movies as Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Mr. Hulot’s Holiday), is one part schlemiel, one part everyman, one part existentialist, and all parts kindness. […]