by: Sarah Momo Romero
November and the holiday season is here! In the spirit of Fall and Thanksgiving, I really wanted to find a book filled with crunchy autumn leaves or a bountiful Thanksgiving feast to blog about for November. However, when I got to the library, two amazing animal picture books immediately caught my eye instead. Discovering the wondrous illustrations in these books reminded me of one big thing to be grateful for: our planet and all the living creatures on it. In this crazy, fast-paced world of cell phones and social media, these two books in particular evoked a sense of wonder in me, and made me pause and sit on the library floor to get lost in these two books. I’m changing up my usual post to share not one, but two very special picture books with all of you. Both books with their beautiful illustrations will draw you right in to these animals' worlds and a different view of our planet.
Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals, written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Petr Horácek really delivers on the educational and fun aspects of a first book of animals for kids. Davies, with a degree in zoology, mixes it up in this book, not only by providing educations tidbits on animals ranging from the mighty elephant to the tiny parasite (ick… but so interesting!), but adding in playful rhymes for the different animals. This educational book really shines with Horácek’s illustrations, created in mixed media.
Horácek’s illustrations are so rich and textural with layers of color and paper, giving each animal illustration its own unique personality. Each page is a world all its own, inhabited by a different animal to learn about, in a different artistic medium. From mixed media collage, colored pencil, gestural brush strokes and even simpler pencil sketches, Horácek adds a very personalized feeling to the delightful information Davies has written about these animals. Anyone who picks this book up, whether young or old, will delight in learning about well-known and even lesser known animals portrayed in these lively illustrations. (The bumblebee bat was an especially fun one for me to see.)
Life, written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel is an equally amazing book about animals and well, life. Unlike Song of the Wild, Life is minimal in its text, featuring a simple, but touching narrative about life perspective and our place in the world.
In his illustrations, Wenzel not only paints his animals with expressive features, lively backgrounds and textural brushstrokes, but I really love the added touches of landscape and greenery outside of the vignettes. This unique take on presenting animals in their natural habitat: the woods, the jungle and even as our friendly companions in the city creates a unique perspective of different environments transitioning into the next across the pages of this wonderful book.
Check these beautiful animal picture books out! I hope you've all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and weekend with loved ones and delicious food. And don't forget to give thanks for our Earth and all the other living beings who are just as lucky as we are to call this place home.
Sarah Momo Romero is a Japanese Peruvian American artist, a graphic designer by day and children's book author and illustrator by night. She’s loved drawing and painting since she was a chiquita and now crafts stories of adventure and wondrous creatures. Sarah is an active SCBWI member who draws inspiration from her life in sunny Los Angeles with her husband/creative partner and dog/infamous escape artist, Peanut. Look out for her first picture book, "Wake Up, Little Bat!" coming out in
the Fall of 2018!
You can find more of Sarah's musings and drawings here:
Facebook: Sarah Momo Romero + Instagram: @sarahmomoromero + Twitter: @sarahmomoromero
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the fabulous debut author/illustrator Maggie Brown.
And 5th Mondays will feature a surprise reprise from over nine years of archives.