Here are two videos that give a good sneak peek but if you love wordless picture books, you'll definitely want this one! (This comes out next week:-)
Villa, Alvaro F. 2013. Flood. North Mankato, MN: Capstone.
Fox and Hen Together
by Beatrice Rodriguez
Enchanted Lion Books, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher
The surprise in Chicken Thief (a PW Best Book of 2010), the first book in this trilogy (watch for Rooster's Revenge in September), is that when the fox steals the chicken, the outcome is happily ever after and not chicken feathers at the corners of fox's mouth. In this book, Chicken leaves Fox in charge of her egg while she goes out to catch a fish for dinner. The adventure that ensues for Chicken takes up the rest of the book, except for the part at the end where there's a surprise with that egg.
I'm not telling. Sorry. You'll have to read it for yourself.
Why I love this series:
1. It's more than just the Fox and the Chicken, it's a whole series of wordless books that Enchanted Lion is doing called Stories Without Words. (see also my review of ICE by Arthur Geisert)
2. The size and shape of the books -- they are different from other books -- long and skinny.
3. Wordless picture books are "just right" books for EVERY reader in my classroom.
The Giant Seed
by Gregory Rogers Allen & Unwin, Austrailia 2009 Roaring Brook, US 2012 The Boy, who previously met the Bard and the Bear and battled a Midsummer Knight, takes "readers" on another adventure, this time through the world of Vermeer. The Boy, out titular hero, is kicking around when a soccer ball appears. One swift kick and the ball lands in a fountain, and the bully boys who were previouslyAdd a Comment
Max Fiedler created this wordless comic based on a Russian fairy tale. Click through to read the whole thing.Add a Comment
Personally, I'm not that into wordless books. I find myself fumbling for what to say when I 'read' them to my kids...and I write for children for fun.
However, I see great value in them for children who are not intimidated by such things. They can create their own stories and read them to us.
Our favorite wordless picture books are:
1. Chalk by Bill Thomson: This is our hands-down favorite. Some multicultural children find a bag of chalk. Everything they draw becomes real...butterflies, the sun...and then, one of the kids draws a dinosaur. The tyrannosaurus comes after the kids. They run for shelter in the playground. The dinosaur can't beat the kids' creativity, though. They draw something to destroy the dinosaur.
2. Tuesday by David Wiesner: Evening comes, and the frogs come out. They fly through the quiet sky until morning, when they wait for their next excursion.
3. The Chicken Thief
Mirror Seven Footer Press 2003 Shadow Chronicle Books 2010 A pair of wordless picture books with similar themes from an artist I like to think of as the Master of the Gutter. That's a good thing, I'll explain. In Mirror, a sullen girl notices the mirror she is slumped near and makes a series of poses, modifying and monitoring her image. Slowly she begins to dance with herAdd a Comment
Ice (Stories Without Words)
by Arthur Geisert
Enchanted Lion Books, March 1, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher
It's hard to remember what it's like to be so hot that you would devise a plan to make a combination airship/sailboat to sail across the world to nab an iceberg and tow it back home, but that's just what Arthur Geisert's trademark pigs do. They bring it home, chop it in to big ice cubes and cool down.
At the end of the story, we leave the pigs, once again gathered around the table where they hatched the iceberg plan (but with the fan blowing a cool breeze over a block of ice) and we wonder...what kind of plan will they hatch next?
Did I mention? This is a wordless book, the second title in Enchanted Lion's Stories Without Words series. The publisher suggests that this book would make a good read aloud, and I do love to read (silently) aloud wordless picture books, but the pictures are so small and detailed on this one that it would probably work best as a "read in the lap" or a "small group of students reads it to each other as the teacher peeks over their shoulders to unobtrusively observe" kind of book.
Definitely one for my "Wordless Picture Books" tub, and I know just the ELL that I'll hand it to first thing in the morning!
Here's another review by Travis at 100 Scope Notes.
It's been a while since I've done a picture book roundup and they've been piling up on my desk. Here are a few new favorites:
When Dan grew up, he married Helen. These are my grandparents. Together Dan and Helen opened a market. They sold all sorts of wonderful Italian food. Now the little shovel belonged to Dan, and he used it to measure out beans, macaroni, and olives.Dan Yaccarino's personal tale of immigration and tradition. A perfect introduction to genealogy, and a great choice for this summer's reading theme of One World, Many Stories.
How do birds learn how to sing? What brings summer after spring? What turns leaves from green to brown and sends them floating gently down?
In the big red barn on the farm, on the farm, in the big red Display Comments Add a Comment
Facial expression and body language steal the show in this wordless photo gallery starring human infants and their astonishing animal lookalikes.
Thanks to Luci McKean (of This is My Bloomington blog and podcast) for a great suggestion that we restate the book title, and author’s and illustrator’s names at the end of each review episode. We begin with this episode and we’re sorry we haven’t been doing this all along.Tags:Baby! Baby!, boardbook, childrens book, photography, Podcast, review, Vicky CeelenBaby! Baby!, boardbook, childrens book, photography, Podcast, review, Vicky Ceelen Display Comments Add a Comment
Wave by Suzy Lee
Holy wackadoodle. Masterful, internationally-acclaimed author-illustrator Suzy Lee uses a stick of charcoal and one color of acrylic paint and NOTHING ELSE - no words - and chronicles a little girl's encounter with the ocean. In just a few sketched lines, she gives us eager, curious, hesitant, exuberant, intimidated... a new expression every page. It's like the best frames from a whole day of home video, silent except for the call of gulls and the sound of waves, condensed into a slideshow to watch over and over again.
In fact, replace the seagulls with pelicans, and the little girl with my 6-year-old, and you've got our vacation. I took that video myself.
From the moment I saw this cover, I was mesmerized.
Two children trudge up a hill and plant some seeds. The girl plants watermelon, and the boy seemingly plants top hats.
As they sleep beside the garden, something magical happens. The top hat seeds thrust up a twisted vine that is topped with gorgeous orange flowers. Out from an orange flower climbs a polar bear wearing a top hat.
From that top hat wondrous things emerge for the children with which to play. Monkeys with fuzzy arms and legs. Lion shaped bubbles. Breezes filled with sea creatures.
After the adventure, the children are put back to bed, the wonders go back into the hat, and though the vine stays, the bear and his hat do not.
Was it a dream?
Wordless, wonderful an absolutely beautiful, Wonder Bear was apparently inspired by a gummi bear. Tao Nyeu is certainly a gifted artist with a real sense of story. Under the dust jacket are pre-printed covers featuring our monkey friends and wonder bear himself (herself?). I am not a student of design, but I do know when folks get it right. Wonder Bear begs readers to go back time and time again to discover new wonders.
South by Patrick McDonnell
The first two-page spread of this gorgeous little picture book made me catch my breath. On the left we see the top half of a tree, bare of leaves and full of little yellow birds, all looking in the same direction and each with a pair of eighth-notes hanging in the air overhead. On the right, it's the same view of the same tree, and all the birds are on the wing and flying out of sight. So minimal, but you can feel the chill in the air, hear their wings, see them fly.
The rest of the book is just as expressive, just as minimal, and displays, in a way that is probably difficult to discern in a tiny newspaper strip, just how good Patrick McDonnell, the creator of Mutts, is with a brush. Big hearts come in small packages sometimes.
Would make a lovely thank-you gift for a friend who has helped when you were in a jam, a talented teacher, or someone who has just pointed you on your way. I'll have to remember this one at the end of the school year.
Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu
I'm not usually sucked in by the wordless beautiful magical dream journey type of picture book. I'm one of the few people I know who wasn't entranced by The House in the Night. Imagine a Night leaves me worse than cold. And I seem to remember some kind of flying magic bed book that made me actually groan.
But man, I love Wonder Bear. I love the wordless narrative - so simple that even a five-year-old can follow and predict, yet so subtle that his older brother will find repetitions and clues to the dream logic at work.
I love the technique - Tao Nyeu does some neat things with layering colors in her silk screen prints; I love the colors, and I love the style. The bulbous shapes, repeating patterns, and swirly clouds make me think of Central Asian and Siberian embroidery: simple shapes that gain strength through repetition. I'm totally going to steal some of her tree shapes for my niece's baby blanket.
This book has been given the high-class treatment by Dial. Lush, toothy paper, large size, and a dust jacket that is not merely a repeat of the book's cover. You can tell that someone on Hudson Street thinks this book is something special. For once, I really have to agree.
Airy illustrations and sparse poetic prose paint a poignant picture of hope, help and healing in this unspoken invitation to dare to care.
Other books mentioned:
Dreams of flying on JOMB:
Six weeks ago yesterday, in Woodstock, Ontario, eight year old Victoria Stafford finished her school day … then disappeared. As the days turned to weeks, Canadians coast to coast came to know Victoria and her family as we watched mother Tara McDonald’s daily efforts to keep the search for her daughter fresh in our minds. This despite mounting public criticism and suspicion of Tara herself.
Yesterday, we learned of Tori’s tragic fate … and of her mother’s innocence.
This episode of Just One More Book! is dedicated to little Tori Stafford, with heartfelt hopes for the healing of those she left behind.Add a Comment
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Jerry Pinkney is a god. I think that's my whole review. No, wait, I have to mention that this book is wordless (except for beautifully lettered onomatopoeia incorporated into the paintings).
In a year when Jerry Pinkney also illustrated The Moon Over Star, I think he is his own stiffest competition for a Caldecott.
The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
In this almost wordless book, readers revisit Aesop’s tale of the lion who spares the life of a mouse only in turn to be rescued by the mouse. The only words on the page are animal noises that bring the African setting to life. Readers follow the mouse right into the lion’s paws, sigh in relief at the release, and will be riveted as the capture of the lion plays out.
Pinkney shows readers the world in focused images, revealing the view of the land the mouse has, the perspective of the lion, and foreshadowing the capture of the lion in the poacher’s net. Each image is beautifully done, filled with details that bring the story to life and invite you to linger over them. His pacing is done with such skill that he can create suspense with a single page turn. From the moment of opening the cover, readers are in the hands of a master story teller who speaks through his art.
One of the best wordless picture books I have ever read, this book should be on every library’s shelf. And with that cover, it is not going to sit there long! Make sure you face this one out!
Reviewed from copy received from publisher. Copy will be placed in library collection.
The Treasure Bath by Dan Andreasen
This jolly wordless picture book has a toddler who is busily helping his mother bake a cake. All messy after the cake goes in the oven, he is put in the bath. His facial expression makes it clear that he is not happy to be headed there. But once he is in the bath with his boat, his imagination goes to work and he is surrounded by colorful fish who join him in swimming down deep into the sea to find a treasure map. They follow the map to the treasure chest which is filled with soap and shampoo. From there he is grabbed by an eel and scrubbed by an octopus as a whale rinses him off with his spout. The little boy complains to the fish about how he was treated, then he returns to reality in the bath with his hair neatly combed and his mother waiting to get him out. And what is waiting when he gets out of the bath? Cake!
The joyful and jolly spirit of this book is what captured me immediately. Yes, the little boy is grumpy when being put into the bath, but then the magic begins. The scenes underwater are just as crisp and clear as those in reality. The lines between the two are seamless, letting the book really feel like a vivid daydream. Andreasen’s art is done in oil on bristol board and has a nice depth, great colors, and a perfect dappled effect in the underwater scenes.
A sudsy, jolly book that is perfect for toddlers who may not enjoy baths and for those who do too. Appropriate for ages 2-5.
Reviewed from book received from publisher.Add a Comment
by Jeff Newman Simon and Schuster 2010 A Mid-Century Modern picture book valentine to the nature of boys at play, both young and old. On Monday the new kid moves to town. On Tuesday he sets out to the park with his bat and ball to mingle with the kids of his new neighborhood but can't bring himself to join in. He shuffles over to a park bench full of a quartet of old men who don't quiteAdd a Comment
Mirror by Suzy Lee
The author of Wave returns with another wordless book that captures emotion through images alone. Her use of simple lines, white space and minimal color sets a unique tone in this book. It is the story of a girl who is sad and alone before she discovers a mirror. As she interacts with her reflection, she becomes exuberant as do the illustrations. She begins to dance with her reflection and then something odd happens and her reflection does different things than she does. This makes her angry so she shoves the reflection, bringing the book to a crashing end.
Lee excels at creating wordless stories that have depth and grace. Here her thick black lines come together to make a story that is interesting and universal. Her skill with white space is really at its best here. She offers an entire two page spread of only blank pages that really create a vital moment in the book. On other pages, she is unafraid to keep large parts of the page bare and allow readers to really focus on the figures themselves.
The book itself is wonderfully designed with a tall, thin cover than evokes the shape of a mirror. The endpages feature the colors and inky shapes found inside the book. Beautifully and caringly done.
A wordless book that offers emotion, surprises and delight, this book will be enjoyed by many different readers. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Seven Footer Press.Add a Comment