Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A break from my work...

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love Mercer Mayer’s work. Growing up, I had several of his Little Monster books. My favorite book was Little Monster's Mother Goose, which featured unique rhymes illustrated with these fantastic monsters putting on a theater performance.

Recent bouts of nostalgia have had me scouring stores for the Little/Golden Books of my childhood. I’ve been looking for Mother Goose in particular for a while, with no luck. I think a lot of us know who hard it is to find those Golden Books. Well, luck was on my side last week, because look what I found!

Isn't it great? One of my favorite things about this book when I was little were these tiny critters in the background, hidden in the scenery. There have a few stories going through the whole book.
After reading the fun rhymes and looking at the performers, I would then look for the guys hiding on the page.
Look at that bird! Who wouldn't love that?

I also found a book I've had wish-listed on Amazon for a while. Since then it's won a few awards, which is kind of neat. It's the fantastic book by Adam Rex, Pssst! It's focuses on a girl's day at the zoo. Here's the cover:

And here's one of the scenery spreads. I love this book because of the originality of the story and its presentation of the setting and characters. The background's a solid color, with the scenery and minor characters done in beautiful sepia lines., with touches of neutral color. The main character remains very fleshed out in acrylic paint, so your eye stays focused on her.
And look at that typography! It could be spray painted on a building. I had fun going back and really examining the travel spreads afterwards. There are some great jokes for the adult readers hidden in the book. Look at the walrus' display sign. (hee!)
Probably the most fascinating thing to me (besides the beautifully detailed rendering of the animals) was the fact that the conversations took place on pages set up like a comic strip...with dialogue balloons and everything! I really, really love this format choice. It's different and does a wonderful job of maintaining the pacing of the story. (Think about how drawn out this scene could be over more than one page--boooring)! Not to mention we get a little one on one with each of the zoo's inhabitants.

I think this book is one of my new favorites, not only because of the story's ending(I'll leave it for you to find out), but because of Rex's wonderful thinking "outside the box" illustrations. One to add to your library check out list for sure!

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