Monday, February 25, 2013

Picture book sampler

At the SCBWI Ireland meet-up on February 2nd with guest speaker, illustrator/author, Alan Corbett, we talked about picture books, graphic novels, and the many mediums and techniques that people use to develop their artwork and tell a story. I handed around a selection of picture books for the group to view and discuss. I promised to provide a list of the books I had shared, so here they are.

These are just a few samples. There are so many more!

Pets go Pop! by Bob Staake – fun and colourful pop-up book that literally jumps off the page.

Ghost of Shandon by Alan Corbett – at last, a graphic novel that’s really for kids! Beautiful autumn palette and a historical adventure with some real characters from 18th-century Cork.

Spells by Emily Gravett – I absolutely adored the illustrations in this book about a frog who wants to be a prince. There’s a brilliant section in the middle of the book where you can flip the top or bottom half of the page to see a transforming image.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler – a classic that has been turned into an animated film and a live theatre production.

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems – a clever blend of photographs of New York City and Mo Willems’ illustrations and a cute story. A Caldecott Honor book.

The Night Pirates by Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright – A fun story with great illustrations. The thing I particularly liked about this book was the way the text and font was incorporated right into the illustrations and became part of the book and not just the bit you had to read.

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Huebner and Bonnie Matthews – a non-fiction, self-help activity book for children with black and white illustrations throughout.

Tuesday by David Wiesner – winner of the Caldecott Medal and one of my absolute favourite picture books! There’s only about four pages with any text, the rest is all in the images. So much is left to the reader to interpret. It’s great fun, slightly mad, and definitely unique.

Mister Got to Go: The Cat that Wouldn’t Leave by Lois Simmie and Cynthia Nugent – this is a true cat tale from Vancouver about a stray who wandered into the Sylvia Hotel and decided to stay. I love it because of the humour and great pictures, and friends of mine used to go to that hotel pub regularly.

Beware of the Storybook Wolves by Lauren Child – I like how she puts photos of patterns into her illustrations. This is a brilliant story that mucks around with a few familiar fairy tales but really has a lot of fun, so you just don’t know what’s going to happen next.

The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean - for the life of me, I can’t find this one, but I know I had it in my collection. I had to include it here because it’s a book that is a hybrid of picture book and graphic novel for younger kids. Great stuff, a bit darker and scarier, not for the wee tots.

What are your favourite illustrated books for children and why?

To read about the SCBWI Ireland meet-up with Alan Corbett, click here.


Candy Gourlay said...

You've got one of my all time favourites on this list ... Knuffle Bunny.Lovely for the child and lovely for the parent and a wonderful surprise at the end! Thanks for the great list ... my TBR runneth over.

A. Colleen Jones said...

That was a gift from a friend in Winnipeg because she knew I was writing for kids. I hadn't even heard of Mo Willems at that point. It was fun going through all these last night and seeing what was great about each one. So glad you enjoyed the list. Ceej :)

Catherine said...

Was really interested to see what picture books you discussed. I need to add Emily Gravett to my reading list, so many people rave about her books and I like the look of the Lauren Child book too. Must have been a really interesting session. Thanks for sharing :)

A. Colleen Jones said...

Yes, I loved Emily Gravett's book. Apparently, she was in the art program at the same time as Alan Corbett. It was a great session, sorry you couldn't be there with us!

Bridget Marzo said...

Great to see Bob Staake and Wiesner here too. Endless source of fascination to me how different countries still focus on such different "star" picture book makers - though you've covered both sides of the pond!

My favourite all-time picture book is- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. To me it's the ultimate bedtime book for young children - not a story but a litany with a lovely rhythm, though the illustrations really invite children 'in' so they can imagine sub-stories of their own - more complex than it seems at first glance.
I also love William Steig's The Amazing Bone, Caleb & Kate and Sylvester - I found these US classics in France - but you rarely hear about Steig in the UK even though he wrote and illustrated the original Shrek (looks nothing like the film by the way!).

A. Colleen Jones said...

Ooh, yes, Goodnight Moon is lovely. I wasn't particularly looking for top 100 books, I just pulled what I had off my own shelf to take to the meet-up. Some were gifts, and others I acquired for a course and for my own pleasure. There's soooo many good books out there. Latest one I bought for my niece is Slow Loris by Alexis Deacon. Love his illustrations and cool stories.I have not heard of William Steig and didn't know there was an original Shrek. Awesome! I will have to look that up. Thanks Bridget.

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