Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It seems like just about any and every thought has a special day or month. Although every day is a picture book day for caregivers, parents, and children, at the very least naming a month after such an amazing art grabs everyone's attention to fuel another year of stories.

I adore writing picture book texts and only wish I had an artistic talent to go with them, but alas no. When I was a French teacher, I would avoid translating at all costs and succumb to drawing a picture on the black board to represent a particular vocabulary word. One day, after what I thought was a perfectly acceptable shape of who-knows-what-now, I turned around only to see 24 puzzled faces. To which I responded/begged, "Un peu d'imagination, s'il vous plait!"

Imagination is the start of the fantastical and of the life-like images we admire in picture books. But I believe words can be the pencils to draw entire worlds in our heads. For this reason, the stories on Good Night, Sleep Tight are written more "flowery"and "descriptive" to start the sketches in one's imagination. And the best part of it, is that the same paragraph may create an entirely different image in my head than in anyone else's. And if I could turn the pages in a child's mind, I bet I would find the most impressive works of art that could compete with any surrealist.

In honor of Picture Book Month, I want to celebrate stories of all kinds - be them read-aloud, wordless, or a simple, yet so important, board book that makes the first connection between words and images in the youngest child.

I couldn't possibly write a post for this special month without noting a few of my favorite picture books. This list could go on for years, but for the sake of space and your, kind reader's, patience, I will limit it to the following (in no particular order).

The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowery
In a Pumpkin Shell by Joan Walsh Anglund
Dolphin Boy by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman
The Princess and the Wizard by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks
My Mom is a Foreigner, But Not Me by Julianne Moore, illustrated by Meilo So
This is Me by Philip Waechter (I love, love, love this book and will read it forever!)
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (This story made me laugh out loud at the book store.)

Some French titles I own with remarkable illustrations that are also worth a look (and read) are:
La Fée Coquillette fait la maîtresse by Didier Lévy and Benjamin Chaud
Petit dragon by Christoph Niemann
La Petite Poule Rousse by Pierre Delye and Cécile Hudrisier

And in terms of characters, illustration, and imagination, my picture book préféré is... À quoi penses-tu? by Laurent Moreau.

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MaryAnne said...

The Poky Little Puppy was my favorite book as a kid!

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