Thursday, December 30, 2010

Picture Book Promos - Something Old -Something New

In 1938, the first Caldecott award was given Dorothy P. Lathrop for Animals of the Bible. At first glace at the illustrations, a modern viewer may not be overly impressed. Though lacking in color, the black and white drawings are so rich in detail that the monochromatic scheme only adds to the beauty. Considering the time period, it is understandable that the illustrations are in black and white. It wasn’t until later decades that color illustrations became the norm.

Sometimes you read a book and just know: This book is going to win the <*insert name*> award. Such was the case when I read both the Newbery and Caldecott winners for 2010. As I’ve already talked about When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, I’ll go straight for The Lion and the Mouse as illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.

This nearly wordless book is a gorgeously illustrated telling of the well known Aesop fable. Pinkney’s pencil and water color drawings capture the reader, drawing her directly into the scene. The animals are realistic yet their faces are still full of expression. The only few words, which are included as part of the illustrations, are sounds. The story really is completely told through the pictures.

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