Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Sunday Salon and a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words... especially to children!

Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post! It's that day of the week bloggers from all over the internet get together virtually in a large gathering place called The Sunday Salon and talk books!  And at The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, in which more bloggers share their bookish news!

It's finally Summer in Connecticut! The sun is shining and life feels good. This morning we went to a juried art show at the local university and I feel inspired. As a previous art major in college I've always loved creating art, loved walking through a gallery, and appreciate art in all its' forms. Books and art go hand in hand. There's a lot of design that goes into a book, from the obvious design of a cover to the more subtle designs of a book such as type of paper, the weight and feel. One form of books & art are children's picture books. This week I'd like to highlight some outstanding picture books that children are bound to love, but can be loved and appreciated by adults too. These books highlighted today are filled with wonderful artwork and NO words... and as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words...

The Whale by Ethan Murrow (illustrator) & Vita Murrow (author)... A wordless epic sea adventure. There is a legend that a Great Spotted Whale lives in the ocean, although a sighting fifty years ago was never corroborated. Now two young whale watchers each set out to find the whale, one armed with sound-recording equipment, the other with a camera. When their boats collide, they pool their resources to capture incontrovertible proof that the mythical whale exists. The eventual sighting is a magical moment, especially when the children discover that it was their own grandparents who first glimpsed the whale fifty years ago. The Murrows’ spectacular wordless adventure is brought to life with stunning graphite drawings that convey the drama and haunting beauty of the ocean and capture the majesty of the awe-inspiring whale.

This beautiful wordless picture book is amazing. The black & white drawing are so beautiful!  Ethan Murrow is an artist well known for his ballpoint pen drawings, some of which are wall size. All very intricate and playful. This is his first children's book that he's worked on in collaboration with his wife Vita. I saw a little video about the process behind some of these drawings in The Whale and was fascinated by Ethan & Vita using actors to pose, which shouldn't surprise me having gone to art school, but never thought about it in terms of illustrating a children's book. 

Published by Templar an imprint of Candlewick Press April 2016.

Ethan and Vita are actually going to be at my local indie bookstore, Byrd's Books, on Sunday, June 19th to talk about their book. So, if you are near Connecticut I think it would be worth the trip. Why is my vacation starting on the 17th?! I am tempted to delay leaving for a few days so I can go to the talk. In any case, I'll be purchasing a copy of The Whale and will be reviewing it soon!

The Pool by Jihyeon Lee... What happens when two shy children meet at a very crowded pool? Dive in to find out! Deceptively simple, this masterful book tells a story of quiet moments and surprising encounters, and reminds us that friendship and imagination have no bounds.

Another beautifully illustrated book and the debut children's picturebook for artist Jihyeon Lee. The book is the result of Jihyeon visiting a public swimming pool and seeing the contrast of what was going on above the water and the calm emptiness far below the water. This book also won a Gold Medal in the Society of Illustrator's Original Art Show in 2015. And again, it's fascinating to see how this book came together... at the Picturebook Makers Blog you can read a behind the scenes take on how the book was inspired and then created. 

Published in 2015 by Chronicle Books

Float by Daniel Miyares... A boy’s small paper boat—and his large imagination—fill the pages of this wordless picture book, a modern-day classic that includes endpaper instructions for building a boat of your own.

A little boy takes a boat made of newspaper out for a rainy-day adventure. The boy and his boat dance in the downpour and play in the puddles, but when the boy sends his boat floating down a gutter stream, it quickly gets away from him. So of course the little boy goes on the hunt for his beloved boat—and when the rain lets up, he finds himself on a new adventure altogether.

Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole... Simple and stunning images tell the story of a cat named Spot as he weaves his way in and out of a city in this wordless picture book from award-winning author-illustrator Henry Cole. Through this gorgeous visual narrative, Henry Cole shows us a day in the life of a cat named Spot. Spot sneaks away from home by way of an open window to go on a wordless journey through the city. Follow Spot as he weaves through busy city streets, visits a farmers market, wanders into a park full of kite-flyers, and beyond. But while Spot is out on his adventure, his beloved boy owner is looking for him—seeming to just miss him every time. When all seems almost lost, Spot’s story reminds us that there’s always a way back home. With stunningly detailed black-and-white illustrations, readers will love following Spot on his adventure—along the way finding characters and objects that appear, disappear, and reappear—and cheering for the sweet reunion at the end.

Published by Little Simon in March of 2016.

Unspoken by Henry Cole...A young girl's courage is tested in this haunting, wordless story...

When a farm girl discovers a runaway slave
hiding in the barn, she is at once
startled and frightened. 

But the stranger's fearful eyes
weigh upon her conscience,
and she must make a difficult choice.
Will she have the courage to help him?

Unspoken gifts of humanity unite the girl
and the runaway as they each face a journey: 
one following the North Star,
the other following her heart.

Published by Scholastic Press in 2012

Henry Cole has illustrated over 80 children's books and here are two of his, Spot, the Cat and Unspoken, that he has written and illustrated without words. Both show off his beautiful ability to draw. Spot, the Cat being a more fun book, following the adventures of Spot, and Unspoken, a wonderful children's book about the underground railroad. To learn more about Henry Cole, about his inspirations and art, click on the Publishers Weekly interview. And there's a great write-up of Unspoken at Anita Silvey's Children's Book-a-Day Almanac.

Though I enjoy children's picture books for their artwork, wordless picture books are wonderful for children to use their imaginations. Why do we have to spell everything out in a picture book? In the PW interview with Henry Cole, Mr. Cole said that when he visits schools he likes to have the children write about the scenes in his wordless book, Unspoken, and enjoys reading how differently the children interpret what's going on.

Question... Do You Like Children's Pictures Books? 

What are your favorite children's picture books? And are there any other wordless children's books that you have found and love? Please share all those great books right here! I'd love to hear about them! Hope you've found something interesting here today! 

Happy Reading... Suzanne


Got My Book said...

I don't have any children of my own, but I enjoy reading with my nieces & nephews.

My Sunday Summary

thecuecard said...

The cover illustration for The Whale makes it look really cool. I'd like to look at the rest of the pictures in that one.

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