Search Results for: my red balloon
picture books on opposites
These picture books explore opposites, but not just in terms of stripes or colors, in terms of characters as well. And in both cases, they not only show us what it means to be opposite—horizontal or vertical; black or white—they demonstrate the saying that opposites do, in fact, attract!
Mister Horizontal & Miss Vertical by Noémie Révah and Olimpia Zagnoli (2014).
(click image(s) to enlarge)
Two characters, one drawn to tall, the other to long. Miss Vertical is a fan of elevators, hot air balloons, and bungee jumping. Mister Horizontal likes scooters, naps, and the ocean. And yet, they’re a perfect match.
This is a wonderful book to illustrate a concept, which is a great skill on its own. But it’s so much fun along the way, thanks in large part to the poppy design that dances on the page in all directions. So bold. So graphic. So Olimpia Zagnoli!
Miss Vertical’s gestures are straight and up and down. Mister Horizontals are curved and round. Together, they’re an X and O.
That’s my one of my favorite spreads, Miss Vertical dangling from a tree, the forest background a lot like her shirt. And the perfect pop of red shoe.
The story was inspired by this photograph by René Maltête. So in a spoiler alert, these two have a child at the end of the book. And the child isn’t exactly like mom or dad. Nope, neither type of stripe will do!
Big thanks to Enchanted Lion Books for images!
Black Cat, White Cat by Silvia Borando (2014).
And now, another kind of opposite! Black and White cats, from the tips of their noses to the tips of their tails. And they like opposite settings, which help them stand out—night and day!
Black Cat likes daytime, when dark-colored swallows soar. White Cat likes nighttime, when bright stars twinkle. But they’re not stuck in their ways. They’re curious cats, adventuring into the reverse unknown.
And there, on the way to new things, they meet. I imagine it’s dusk, but it could be sunrise too. Each experiences new things: fireflies and bumblebees. They discover how much they like to be together.
And at the end, six kittens! And neither black nor white at that. You’ll have to read the book to find out their colorful surprise! (Hint: it’s not a tomato and tasty as juice.)
A pair of picture books. Two love letters to contrast.
five super simple picture book halloween costumes
What better way to bring a picture book to life than by dressing like its main character from the neck up for Halloween (or any time)?
Here goes: five super simple picture book Halloween costumes in a pinch!
Louise from Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light.
Materials: DIY red paper glasses and a pencil.
Stillwater the Panda from Jon J Muth’s Zen Shorts series.
Materials: panda mask (mine is from Popkiller; could be handmade from paper), paper tie, and a balloon.
The boy from Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers.
Materials: beanie and a red and white striped shirt. (We used tape to make the stripes!)
Imogene with her antlers from Imogene’s Antlers by David Small.
Materials: brown paper, headband, armature made of electrical tape, L brackets, and skinny dowels.
And finally, the girl who shall not be tamed from Wild by Emily Hughes.
Materials: green nesting and plastic foliage from the craft store’s floral section (and I used a swim cap to protect my real hair from all the messy fibers).
Big thanks to my guy, Todd Davis, for his help snapping photos and creating antlers and stripes and wild green hair!
You might also be interested in my roundup of other people’s DIY fairy tale character costumes from last year. Happy Halloween!
10 picture books set in paris + PICTURE BOOK GIVEAWAY
I’ve been dreaming about visiting Paris someday, so I thought we could all dream together with some picture books set in the City of Light, each with its own special flair.
Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of The Man Who Sold The Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli.
Just out this spring, Tricky Vic is a non-fiction book like no other. Instead of profiling an inspirational hero, this one tells the story of a con artist. And it’s very entertaining! And while not set entirely in Paris, the main episode referred to in the title takes place there—Vic’s attempt to sell the Eiffel Tower to someone in order to tear it down. Twice. (I’m giving away a copy if you scroll down. Woo hoo!)
Madame Martine by Sarah S. Brannen.
I’ll just go ahead and tell you I love this book. It’s about a woman who is used to her routine but is inspired to change because of a stray dog. And the payoff is pretty wonderful. Sunset at the top of the Eiffel Tower wonderful. (I’m giving away a copy of this gem as well!)
Come With Me to Paris by Gloria Fowler, illustrated by Min Heo.
A rhyming romp through the sights of the city. So graphic, colorful, and charming!
A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino.
This one shows the landmarks of Paris as well, but with a girl’s grandfather as guide. So sweet.
Paris Chien by Jackie Clark Mancuso.
Hudson the expat dog narrates this charmer as he makes his way in Paris for the first time. And there’s a follow-up book just out in which Hudson travels to Provence!
This is Paris by M. Sasek.
A perfect historical portrait of Paris in the 60s. (See my post on This Is Hong Kong in the series too.)
An Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis.
This one reads as travel diary, penned by an armadillo! It also sees the sights, but at its heart is a mystery about The Iron Lady’s identity.
The Secret Circus by Johanna Wright.
Mice have a turn this time, traveling via tiny hot air balloon to a secret show, tucked away in Paris. Charming, magical, still, and satisfying.
A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna.
This is one you get for the mixed media artwork, which is wow! And more to distinguish it? The book is oriented vertically, giving us a fresh perspective.
Ooh-lala, Max in Love by Maira Kalman.
Because, Maira Kalman, right? And a second dog in Paris book. And it is so so so sophisticated and loads of fun.
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Tricky Vic & Madame Martine! Two very different Eiffel Tower-centric picture books set in Paris to one lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
the blue whale by jenni desmond
The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond (out May 27, 2015!)
This is one of those nonfiction books whose facts somehow make me cry. It’s partly the set up in the author’s note that blue whales are few in number due to human activity, from hunting to pollution. But it’s not just that. It’s the way this material is handled—from how the text is constructed to the dreamy illustrations.
(click image(s) to enlarge)
Part of Jenni Desmond‘s originality is how the story appears in the story of the picture book. The boy in the book is reading the very book we’re reading.
But there’s more! He enters the book. There he is, in a dinghy next to a mighty blue whale, staring down in wonder. Because this book is immersive. Immersive in the azure world of the blue whale.
The boy with the red crown is excited about this book he’s reading, excited about blue whales, excited about animals and habitats.
“Every blue whale has unique markings, similar to our fingerprints. Scientists use these, along with the shape of the dorsal fin, to identify individual whales.”
Together with the boy, we learn that baby calves are born 20 feet long and drink nearly 50 gallons of their mother’s milk every day. That whales have a lot of wax in their ear canals. That a single one of their breaths could inflate 2,000 balloons.
Along with the boy, we feel the world open up. It gets bigger and the blue whale gets smaller. Closer. More precious to us.
“A blue whale’s tongue weighs three tons, and its mouth is so big that 50 people can stand inside it. Fortunately, blue whales don’t eat people.”
And that’s how this book works. It brings the boy character inside it, it brings us inside it and conversely it brings the blue whale into our world, right outside our window and in our kitchen.
It’s the perfect kind of nonfiction book that educates while it enchants. It makes us care.
Thanks to Enchanted Lion Books for images!
Jenni Desmond was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about her process of making the book!
This Picture Book Life:What prompted you to write a book about this particular animal?
Jenni Desmond: I didn’t choose a blue whale on purpose, it chose me, by just falling out of my head onto the page one day. Then, the more I drew this beautiful mammal the more I fell in love with it. There is still so much we don’t know about blue whales. I just found them endlessly fascinating and beautiful, and kept wanting to know more. When I showed the rough sketches to my wonderful editor, Claudia, at Enchanted Lion Books, she understood my vision for the book and tirelessly helped me to sculpt it into something much more complex and interesting.
TPBL: You include the book itself in the text and illustrations. How did the idea to do that come about?
JD: I wanted the reader to be aware of the fictional element of the story versus the factual. By having the young boy holding and reading the book, I felt that it would mean that there was a clear divide between the two. The facts could stay as facts, and the reader knew that the inclusion of the boy in the images, when he was interacting with the whale, was purely a result of the boy’s vivid imagination.
TPBL: Boy with red graph paper crown. Go!
JD: I think sometimes non-fiction can feel quite dense and difficult, so I hope that by including the boy, the reader can have a little bit of respite to digest the information while they watch the boy having fun, hopefully even seeing themselves in the boy. I‘m not sure why he’s wearing a crown. Why not. Maybe he’s the king of the book. Maybe he likes dressing up. Maybe it’s just a nice shape and gives a splash of colour to the page. Maybe it’s all of these things.
Thank you, Jenni, both for the interview and for this outstanding book!