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F&G Goodness August 29, 2012

Posted by ccbooks in Bookstore.
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This is the counter at the store, where Kristen and I have been going through a new box of F&Gs–bookseller-speak for ‘Folds and Gathers.’ These are picture books that haven’t been published yet, review copies sent from the publisher to entice us into ordering the finished books.

We go through the stack slowly, our comments ranging from “Cute!” to “Well, that was pretty bad” to “Pretty pictures, boring story.” One question we both had was “Is it just us or are all picture books about hats specifically about red hats?” A couple  of books that stuck out to me:

Again by Emily Gravett

Gravett is known as an illustrator who incorporates flaps and cutouts and collage pieces into her books.  Her characters also tend to have huge amounts of energy, which can sometimes lead to destruction. Occasionally it seems as if her stories are taking over the book as a physical object, in the best kind of way. Here, a little dragon asks for a story before going to bed. His mother obliges, but similar to David Ezra Keat’s Interrupting Chicken, bedtime doesn’t quite go as planned, since the dragon keeps demanding “Again!” If you turn the book over, there is a little clue about how it all will end.

Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin

I think I first became familiar with Halperin’s work through her illustrations for Cynthia Rylant’s Cobble Street Cousins series. In my mind, I group her style of drawing with Tasha Tudor and Barbara Cooney–calm and filled with thoughtful, beautiful details. This book is no exception. Halperin guides the reader through an attitude almost more than a story; a way to live life mindfully, aware of the connections between people and places around the world. Only when we realize that peace in our world depends on peace in our cities, neighborhoods, schools, homes and hearts, will we be able to create it for ourselves and others. Each spread gives the reader a glimpse into various locations and families around the world, criss-crossed with quotes about peace from well-known and obscure world figures. I could see this being a calm, thoughtful read-aloud and also a book that kids could pick up on their own to find all the tiny details. Lovely.

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