Since this summer I've splurged and gotten so many great books. So in celebration of Picture Book Month I thought I'd share my recent favorites. Here they are in my studio-
Bone Dog written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann takes place on Halloween night but I think it's a story that can be loved all year. Even though Gus' dog Ella has died she can still save the day! There is a nice video of Eric talking about the book here.
The illustrations in this book are done similarly to the way I work- with relief prints. It can be a challenge to have art made this way look loose and energetic but Eric is a master of that! Look at these dogs running across the page- don't you just want to run with them?
The Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley and illustrated by Sophie Blackall was written in 1944 and is the only children's story he wrote. It does have some 1944 stereotypes but it also has tons of charm, a great villain, and a happy ending. Sophie is one of my favorite illustrators and I think her artwork is magic. Have you ever seen such well dressed crows?!
You can also listen to a Weekend Edition NPR segment about the book.
Otis and the Tornado written and illustrated by Loren Long is a follow up to his book about a happy red tractor called Otis. I was lucky enough to hear Loren talk about his work process and see lots of early drawings for Otis. I still prefer the first book best but having another adventure to read makes me happy.
On Loren's website you can see his sketches that transform into the finished art, unused sketches, and a video of Loren talking about Otis. I heart Otis!!
A Pocketful of Posies is a collection of nursery rhymes illustrated with hand sewn fabric by Salley Mavor. It's jam packed with everyone's favorite nursery rhymes and plenty of unfamiliar ones also. Sally's art is carefully and beautifully constructed with hand made dolls, little trinkets, sticks, and buttons assembled together in lush and decorative sewn backgrounds.
You have to watch this video of Sally working on her piece called Rabbitat. Wow!
Stars written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Marla Frazee. It's about how there are more stars than just those in the sky. I think the real star is Marla. She manages to draw more than 10 different children with their families and weave them all together in their own visual stories. Here is a nice recent interview with Marla on Geek Dad.
There are several very special illustrations in this book. The one I wanted to show you looks like a child's dream come true to me. A moss covered tree with a warm bright cave in the roots and friends sharing a good story. I want to go live there. :)