Yellow and black is a fairly common palette in illustration. Hildilid’s Night, Mo’s Moustache, The Happy Day, My Heart and Float are a few picture book examples utilising a greyscale palette with the addition of yellow.Continue reading “Yellow and Black in Illustration”
Avocado Baby (1982) is a picture book written and illustrated by John Burningham. This was my first introduction to John Burningham. Our teacher read it in class. I was about six.
I don’t think I’d ever eaten an avocado at age six, so it functioned as a magical fruit, and didn’t strike me as odd that Burningham refers to them as ‘avocado pears’. I just checked: avocado is not related to the pear. Avocados were sometimes called avocado pears (in England) because of their pear-like shape.
Fruit is prone to changing its name between generations. Where I grew up, in New Zealand, my grandmother always called kiwifruit ‘Chinese gooseberries’. That’s what kiwifruit were called until the fruit marketing board got a hold of them and rebranded the ‘Chinese gooseberry’ for mass export, conveniently linking the furry brown skins with New Zealand’s most famous endangered bird. (Kiwifruit are not related to gooseberries.)
Then, when I left New Zealand, I realised only New Zealanders call kiwifruit ‘kiwifruit’ — the rest of the world shortens to ‘kiwi’, which is unsettling for a New Zealander self-identifying as ‘kiwi’. I am not a fruit!Continue reading “Avocado Baby by John Burningham (1982)”
If you’d like to see some hopeful, vibrant, brightly coloured illustration, let’s visit a part of the world known in recent history for oppessive governments.Continue reading “Vibrant Palettes Of Czech And Eastern European Illustrators”
I Am Not A Fox is a picture book written by Karina Wolf and illustrated by Chuck Groenink. If you’ve ever read “The Ugly Duckling” and thought, “hmm, that message has problems”, then this one might be for you.Continue reading “I Am Not A Fox by Wolf and Groenink”
Come Away From The Water, Shirley is a 1977 picture book written and illustrated by British storyteller, John Burningham. A number of adult readers talk about the “two different stories” going on in this book.Continue reading “Come Away From The Water, Shirley by John Burningham 1977”
How To Make Friends With A Ghost is a 2017 picture book written and illustrated by Rebecca Green. This cosy supernatural story is written as a non-fictional how-to guide and because this book deals with supernatural subject matter, covertly teaches how to be a good friend.Continue reading “How To Make Friends With A Ghost by Rebecca Green”
Hildilid’s Night is a 1971 picture book written by Cheli Durán Ryan, illustrated by Arnold Lobel. The illustrations are notable for being rendered entirely in black and white until the sun comes up at the end. This story feels like it’s based on an ancient myth.Continue reading “Hildilid’s Night by Durán Ryan and Lobel”
The Monster At The End Of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smolin (1971) is possibly the most successful Little Golden Book starring Sesame Street characters. I grew up with it myself, though I can’t put my hands on it right now so I’ll be talking specifically about the app, which came out decades later, soon after the first tablet computers hit the market.Continue reading “The Monster At The End Of This Book”
Scaredy Squirrel At The Beach (2008), written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt, is the third picture book in a series starring an anxious squirrel who deals with his fears by facing them head on, though his exposure therapy is comically accidental.Continue reading “Scaredy Squirrel At The Beach by Melanie Watt”
Frog Goes To Dinner (1974) is a wordless carnivalesque picture book by American author/illustrator Mercer Mayer, and the fifth in a series about a boy and his beloved frog. Wordless picture books are perhaps the most emotionally affecting, because they work with us at a deeper level. Frog Goes To Dinner works on an emotional level, especially compared to most carnivalesque plots.Continue reading “Frog Goes to Dinner by Mercer Mayer 1974”