by: Sarah Momo Romero
It’s the new year and for many of us, it’s the start of new projects or adventures! This time around, it was a bit of a struggle for me to return to the swing of things after the holidays. It was so nice and comforting to settle into spending time with family and friends, it’s taken a bit of a push to get myself back into creativity. And this post was a great start! This month, I’m highlighting books that sparked a new excitement for me, with words, poetry and illustrations that are completely different from ones I’ve written about before. Here I have The Stuff of Stars and Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, both coincidentally illustrated by the amazing Ekua Holmes.
The Stuff of Stars is written by award-winning author, Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by artist Ekua Holmes. This picture book beautifully blends the mystery and ethereal quality of the universe, the formation of the stars and all beings on Earth through words and artwork that starts of dark and quiet, and explodes off the page with a great life force and energy.
As a long-time lover of handmade paper, the cover for this picture book mesmerized me and drew me right in with its swirls of color and bursts of energy. Holmes created the illustrations with hand-marbled paper and collage and assembled it digitally, crafting images to compliment Bauer’s vivid words perfectly. The textural quality of the artwork across each page captures movement in an abstract way that invites the reader to look closer and really take in each moment on every page.
Readers of all ages will enjoy reading Bauer’s lyrical telling of the creation of our world, as well as looking deeper into each illustration for the hidden images within.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets written by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, also illustrated by Ekua Holmes, pays tribute to twenty well-known poets from around the world and across centuries with original poems by the authors.
Out of Wonder is a great introduction for readers of all ages to the many different poets and their styles through the eyes of the authors of the book. Poems honoring and in the styles of Emily Dickenson, e.e. Cummings, Pablo Neruda, just to name a few, come alive and dance through Holmes’ eclectic style for each poem, illustrations created in collage on paper.
I hope you all have had a great start to the new year, and are on a roll with your creative projects! And if you’re like me, and need a little extra push, hopefully checking out these distinctive picture books will spark a little creativity for you as well!
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. Her debut picture book, "Wake Up, Little Bat!" is out now through Clear Fork Publishing!
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.