Monday, November 17, 2008

Jennifer's Picks!

Our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing is almost here! We have around 200 original illustrations from our five wonderful illustrators, and about 40 books for signing and dedication.

Don't forget, book pre-sales end November 29th!

Wishing Traditions Around the World
Written by Roseanne Thong
Illustrations by Elisa Kleven


Wish is a delightful look at the many wishing traditions throughout the world, and takes you from the United States to India, Japan, Israel, Russia, even Australlia. The above illustration shows the wishing tradition of Brazil, where people jump seven waves on New Year's Day and throw flowers and combs into the waters. These are offering for the goddess of the sea, who will grant their wishes. Elisa Kleven has created beautifully intricate collage artworks to highlight the many cultures of the world. For me, the best thing about Wish is that it gives children an early awareness of the world around them. The pictures are engaging, so not only do you read about the traditions, you also see the traditions in action. Besides, who doesn't love making wishes?

The House in the Night
Written by Susan Marie Swanson
Illustrations by Beth Krommes

Sleeping Dog

The House in the Night is the newest book illustrated by Beth Krommes. This is a soothing good-night book for little ones, taking them through a journey to sleep. Based on the nursery rhyme "This is the key of the kingdom" from The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, The House in the Night follows a similar progression in it's narrative. Beth's scratchboard illustrations are stunningly sophisticated in this black and white and golden yellow book. I love the way the words to The House in the Night draw you directly into the pages and into the illustrations. You can almost make up your own stories when you look at the images, opening the gateway for sleepy-time dreams.

That's What Friends Are For
Written by Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Van Clief
Illustrations by Holly Meade

Theodore Lying Down

A sweet story about friendship, That's What Friends Are For is the tale of Theodore the elephant, delayed from meeting his cousin by an injured leg. All of his forest friends are more than willing to give helpful advice about how he can make the journey to the other side of the jungle, like swinging from the tree branches with his trunk (from the monkey), or growing a new leg (from the crab). Finally the opossum stands to be the voice of reason, urging the others to help Theodore instead of offering advice. Holly Meade composed these adorable illustrations out of watercolor collage, creating a wonderfully three-dimensional and textured effect. I think this is a great book for all ages because it reminds us exactly what friends are for, to help us when times are tough.

Friday My Radio Flyer Flew
Written and Illustrated by Zachary Pullen

Grease Monkey

A wonderful story about the bond between father and son and the power of dreams, Friday My Radio Flyer Flew is the first book both written and illustrated by Zachary Pullen. While exploring the attic together, the pair discover Dad's old Radio Flyer, and his son becomes determined to make it fly. Zak's incredible oil on canvas illustrations are so delightful to look at. The figures are so very expressive, and each image is full of little details that keep you coming back to look again. I think this is a fabulous book because you can tell it's been a labor of love for Zak, and it feels like a very personal story. It makes me remember trying to emulate my dad in the garage when I was little, just like the young boy in this book does. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can relate to this lovely story.

Won't You Be My Hugaroo?
Written by Joanne Ryder
Illustrations by Melissa Sweet

Piggy & Zebra Greeting

Won't You Be My Hugaroo is an absolutely adorable book about the different kinds of hugs to give and receive. Follow friends and their parents to an amusement park for a fun-and-hug-filled day. Together, they give twirly hugs, off-we-go hugs, tickle hugs, and best of all, a cozy hug at the end of the day. This is a great companion to Won't You Be My Kissaroo, about the different kinds of kisses there are. Melissa Sweet's mixed-media illustrations are youthful and uplifting, and make you smile as you flip through this book. As a big fan of hugs myself, this book immediately spoke to me and made me want to share it with those that I care about. In this way, Won't You Be My Hugaroo is another kind of hug you can give.

We have many more books to offer, all with stunning artwork. If you need recommendations, just ask! For a complete book list, please follow this link:

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