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09 February 2009 @ 05:01 pm
picture books for a rainy Monday  
Even though the weather forecast called for scattered showers, we seemed to have rain most of the day today. Actually, that was OK as I spent all afternoon in meetings. Now, I will run in between the raindrops and head for home shortly where soup awaits (thank goodness for crock pots). Here are a few picture books to add to your collections.

I had the delight of sitting in between Chris Riddell and his sometimes co-author Paul Stewart at a lovely dinner last year. I adore THE EMPEROR OF ABSURDIA for the power it gives readers (kids) over dreams and imagination. The illustrations are stunning in terms of color (vivid greens that almost glow off the page) and character (small touches reminiscent of Sendak in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE) such as the shape of a grin or the thrust of shoulders and chest, and especially size and shape of pictures on individual double page spreads. Don't forget to take a long look at the end papers as well. (HarperCollins)

Black and white illustrations tell of the unusual friendship between Willoughby and a lion he discovers sitting in front of his house one day. The lion tells the boy that he can grant Willoughby 10 wishes. Of course, Willoughby wishes for all sorts of things: a big house (we gets a palace), fast running shoes, roller coasters, etc. What will Willoughby do with his last wish? That is the true turning point. The B&W illustrations glow golden as the lion grants wish after wish. End papers are part of the story itself and a real treat. (HarperCollins, Bowen Press)

I love books about the joy of waiting for a baby to arrive. ON THE DAY YOU WERE BORN is still one I read to my children's literature classes. Now we have, BEFORE YOU WERE HERE, MI AMOR about a family preparing for the arrival of their new child. Everyone has a part to play in the preparations in this lyrical text liberally sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases. Artwork by Santiago Cohen is vibrant and stylized and perfect for this lovely story of great expectations. (Viking)
Current Mood: tiredtired
(Anonymous) on February 10th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Delighted to read this review
Hello Goddess of Literature. I was absolutely surprised and delighted to read your review this morning, a gray, snowy, cloudy day in Seattle, Washington. Thank you for taking the time to review "Before You Were Here, Mi Amor" and for improving my cloudy day!
All best,
Samantha R. Vamos