Thursday, August 9, 2012

A New Toon Book! (I do so love them)

Maya Makes a Mess by Rutu Modan 
Toon Books, Candlewick Press, August 14th, 2012

Rutu Modan brings her Eisner Award-winning talents to emerging readers in the Toon graphic novel Maya Makes a Mess. Maya's parents don't like her messy table manners, so what will the queen think? Well, it turns out the queen is willing to make allowances for a guest, and declares the evening one of messy manners. The result is ridiculous and hysterical, perfect for messy eaters or those who are forbidden to have their own fun at the table.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beautiful picturebook

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold
Candlewick, October, 9th, 2012
There's an enormous black dog outside and everyone who sees it decides it will be best to hide. Everyone, that is, except Small, who ventures outside. It seems that Small knows something about this dog that the rest of the family does not. The colors, details, and textures of Pinfold's illustrations are exquisite. Like A House in the Woods, it's bound to be an indie classic.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Good graduation book


Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein

Because Amelia smiles, Mrs. Higgins sends cookies to her grandson. This kindness inspires a smile and a gift, too. Pretty soon Amelia's smile has set off a string of kindness. The colors and movement of Stein's illustrations dance around reader as they're taken around the world to see the glorious effect of one good thing in this inspiring picturebook.

Friday, August 3, 2012


by Sally Murphy 
Candlewick, August 14th, 2012

John loves arranging long, intricate domino runs, and then toppling them. When his best friend Dominic gets sick in class and doesn't return to school, John makes domino runs instead of worrying. But then it turns out that Dom isn't just sick, he has cancer. John tells his story in chapters of poetry, the lines lining up like a domino run. But while he'll topple dominoes, John and his friends will support Dom in every way they can, so that that cancer doesn't topple him. Sally Murphy has a gift for dealing with difficult emotions in poetic form, and Toppling is a good book it have around for the right someone who needs it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Otter & Odder

by James Howe, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Candlewick, October 9th, 2012

Otter is looking for food and finds love. They happen to be the same thing-- a fish named Myrtle. The other animals will not tolerate this odd behavior, and Myrtle cannot love an otter who eats her friends and family. With the help of a wise Beaver, will Otter live "happily ever after" with his fish? Or is his tale destined to end "And so their love could never be?" Chris Raschka's abstract crayon and watercolor illustrations exude playfulness, their colors highlighting the emotions of James Howe's wonderful text. 

I was lucky enough to have tea with Chris at Book Expo America and it turns out that the illustrations for this book are actually reproductions from the dummy he submitted. He did some finals for the book, but none were really working. His editor really loved the dummy, though, and decided it was perfect for the final. I'm assuming this is why the illustrations for Otter and Odder are so abstractly geometric and use crayon line instead of ink line.