The more picture books I read, the more I find myself falling in love with the format. In what other space can art tell a story than in a picture book? It seems to be one of the last venues where illustrations can exist simply and in their own right, without being fettered down by ideas… or lack of ideas… or whatever it is that modern art does.
Spoon combines an always valuable lesson, to remember your own strengths, with fantastically quirky illustrations and details, one of my favorites being when Spoon is reminded of the pleasures of relaxing in a cup of hot tea. Sometimes I try to convince myself that I bought this book as a reminder to not be ‘so blue’, but deep in my heart I know it was really because of the spooning scene at the end. I challenge you not to feel the same way after reading it.
The Surprise hooked me from across the room by its bold, vibrant oranges and reds. If any single page were blown up to say, a 7×7 foot poster, I would buy it in an instant, no matter what the cost. This wordless story would be a perfect gift for any child (or adult) with a penchant for unique color combinations and striking images.
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
If only Dog Loves Books did not star a canine, it would be the story of my life. Dog opens a bookstore (although I did not open one, I do work in one) and is disappointed when people come in to ask for food or directions (happens daily) and so reads to alleviate his boredom (hmmm…). Then someone does come in, and the last lines go something like this: “Dog loves books, but most of all, he likes to recommend them”. Fantastic. Definitely a book for book lovers of all ages.