Never judge a book by its cover, so they say. Though I tend to agree with the literal and metaphorical implications of the all-too-familiar saying, I have to say that I can't help myself when it comes to picture books. Some are just so stunningly illustrated that they are irresistible. And, on the rare occasion when those gorgeous illustrations reveal a beautiful story, we have something quite remarkable in our hands. Such books are truly works of art, to be read again and again for years to come. Here are few titles that have recently ended up in my "wow" collection at the library:
- The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett is a wordless story of a young girl who wants nothing more than a green bicycle. She spends all her free time selling lemonade, dusting, and raking leaves in order to earn enough money to buy the bicycle. The soft pencil illustrations create such a sense of calm throughout the tale, despite the plot twist in the middle. It is a sweet and simple story that is propelled entirely by pictures. This encourages conversation between you and your child as you talk together to describe what you see and predict what may come next.
- Flashlight by Lizi Boyd is another wordless story featuring an adventurous boy camping in the woods, shining a flashlight on anything that catches his interest. The light and dark contrasts draw attention to the creatures and plants inhabiting the forest at night. This is another great story to spark discussion about all the fascinating things he uncovers.
- Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey follows an adorable bluebird who is searching for her friend, the wind. The bird travels about the city looking for her friend, who she believes is the reason that she can fly. By the end of the story, however, the bluebird realizes that she's been flying on her own the whole time.
- Walk this World: A Celebration of Life in a Day by Lotta Nieminen transforms the reader into a true globetrotter. This enjoyable exploration reveals charming streets filled with signs in foreign languages, miniature people in local dress, and windows and doors that actually open to show people in their homes and offices. The graphics are entrancing, as are the displays of life in countries throughout the world.