Pictures can draw readers to books—April 22, 2011
A visit to the children’s room at HPL is always a pleasant experience. The brightly colored room houses all kinds of interesting and entertaining materials. Personally, I enjoy the picture books. There are award winning authors, catchy titles and books that “everyone is reading”. Frequently, it is the illustrations that cause a stifled giggle or stir my curiosity which reach out and grab my interest.
Wizzil by William Steig was one of my recent selections. The rather primitive artwork by Quentin Blake prompted my choice. The humorous story brought the pictures to life while teaching an important lesson about kindness.
The pictures in Coyote Steals A Blanket , written and illustrated by Janet Stevens, . The poor coyote is obviously traumatized by his surroundings in the desert while learning that taking what doesn’t belong to you is wrong.
David Shannon offers a series of stories about a child named David. The illustrations, along with the large scrawled text, easily reveal the feelings of a little boy who always seems to find trouble. Yet, in the end, the tenderness is evident as David is enveloped in his family’s love.
Russell the Sheep is about a very rotund wooly animal who just can’t fall asleep. Rob Scotton allows the round eyes with a tiny centered dot on each character to show the frustration and fatigue while Russell’s contortions and failed attempts at slumber complete the humor.
Helen Ketterman has created a masculine Cinderella in Bubba, the Cowboy Prince: A Fractured Texas Tale. The images created by James Warhola create a feeling of empathy for Bubba, a hardworking “young feller” and disdain for his hateful stepfamily. This Golden Sower winner ends with Bubba winning the heart of “Miz Lurleen, the purtiest and richest gal in the county”.
Don’t let the kids have all the fun. Stop in the childrens’ room and let one of those colorful covers tickle your funny bone.