by Sarah Momo Romero
I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t drawn to reading. Books that grab a hold of me, calling me to take them along everywhere I go and pulling me to read late into the night, are the best feeling. My parents even recount stories of me at three years old, memorizing the lines and page turns of my favorite picture books, seeming to read way before I actually could. I’ve always loved reading, so it’s no surprise I eventually found my way towards writing and illustrating stories of my own. And now, finding picture books about that love of reading are my new treasure hunt. Someone Like Me and You Can Read are just a couple of my recent discoveries with that warm and fuzzy feeling of getting lost in a good book.
Someone Like Me by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Chris Sheban, with its poignant text and soft illustrations captures a little girl’s love for reading and books so beautifully. A semi-autobiographical picture book, MacLachlan and Sheban create an inviting world with the brilliant morning light and quiet evenings of reading.
Sheban’s illustrations really bring MacLachlan’s sentimental moments to life. The deliberate and textural pencil textures create a sense of memory, ones that could easily be my own, of listening to stories and having my eyes glued to a book.
Someone Like Me is an inspiration for those with the same connection to reading, and those with the drive to tell stories of their own.
You Can Read, written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Mark Hoffmann, shows the humorous side of reading. A little boy and girl read on the playground, at home, underwater and in the most unlikely places. What’s so great about this, is the unexpected way reading is portrayed- we can read in actual places, like hidden in a basket, but perhaps we’re actually on a spy mission in our hiding place.
The combination of Becker’s minimal text and Hoffman’s simple and graphical illustrations are the perfect match, capturing the playful energy of all the adventures reading takes us on. I especially enjoyed the kids expressions, portraying emotion so accurately, even with the simple line work. The extra detail of tying in the book title to each moment on the page adds to the reading fun. We can love reading, as You Can Read shows us in so many entertaining ways, but please, let’s not be rude about it.
Books about reading are one of my favorite genres. I’m still a newbie with my picture book discoveries, but here are a couple of other great tributes to reading to check out:
A Child of Books
By Oliver Jeffers
written by David Miles and illustrated by Natalie Hoopes
(which I also wrote about on The Blogateers here: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-blogateers/discovering-book-for-the-summer)
Do you have any favorite picture books about reading? Share them with me here!
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.