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Entries in children's books (467)

Friday
Jan292016

the cable car and the dragon

“Cable cars are so human they can even speak.  One of them can, anyway.  San Francisco, with all that water around it, is very windy.  And sticking out into the ocean that way, it is also foggy.  When the city is all covered with fog, it’s like living inside a great gray pearl.  It was on such a night that I found I could talk to Charlie the Cable Car.  It was so foggy that you couldn’t even see the tops of the buildings.  And so windy that all the tourists had gone to bed early.”

Currently reading: The Cable Car and the Dragon by venerable San Francisco Chronicle columnist and journalist Herb Caen.  Illustrated by Barbara Nine Byfield.  I like how Caen starts off the book with a short history about cable cars.  One night, Charlie, the youngest cable car in the city (only sixty!), veers off his usual route on Nob Hill and makes a right onto Jackson Street into the middle of a Chinese New Year Parade.  He meets an amiable dragon named Chu Chin Chow and the two go on a lively but harrowing adventure through the city.  A good read for Lunar New Year.

The way Caen weaves this tale shows a clear love for the city and a deep knowledge of its unique denizens, quirks and landmarks.  This is someone who avidly walked its streets over and over again, but with the observant eye and wit of a writer.

Wednesday
Jan272016

how little lori visited times square

"This is a very funny book and should not be read while drinking orange juice, or you will spill it!"

This is a rerelease of How Little Lori Visited Times Square, written by Amos Vogel,  illustrated by Maurice Sendak and hand lettered by Morris Karol.  Little Lori decides that he wants to take a trip to see Times Square in New York City, but encounters many obstacles on the way.  He does get to see quite a bit of New York, though.  He also makes a new friend who helps him in an unexpected way.  Maurice Sendak's palette of earth tones is very reminiscent of the year this title was originally published, 1963.

Monday
Jan252016

into the snow

I haven't seen such amazing textured illustrations as the ones in Into The Snow by author Yuki Kaneko and illustrator Matsamitsu Saito in a great long while.  Saito puts such care and thoughtful technique in depicting the protagonists of the story, the child and the snow, using oil pastels, gouache, acrylics and colored pencils.  You can feel the child's unbridled joy, boundless enthusiasm and raw energy as he throws himself headlong into wonderfully white heaping snowbanks.  Saito is somehow able to depict the snow's movement, liveliness, density--all in the two-dimensional limits of a set of pages.  His lines and colors are warm and soft, almost fuzzy at times.  Kaneko's text is simple and straightforward, written from the point of view of the child who is enchanted by and in awe of the snow.  He is captivated and so is his audience, with Kaneko and Saito's glorious collaboration.  I can't get over this wonder of a book.   It is definitively and categorically a work of art.  I can't recommend it enough!

Friday
Jan222016

snow

After excitedly seeing his front yard packed with freshly fallen snow, Sam can’t wait to get out and play.  In fact, he wants to be the first to make his mark on the untouched gloriously thick blanket of white powder.  Sam Usher’s watercolor and ink illustrations set in Snow’s large format will engulf you in their vast white winter wonderland, make you feel a little chilly and have you expecting a little magic the next time you set out in snow.

Friday
Jan082016

how the sun got to coco's house

Here's another pick from January’s #littlelitbookseries.  This month, we featured some of the exceptional children’s books published in 2015.  How The Sun Got To Coco's House by Bob Graham is among the lot.

"It had to start somewhere.  While Coco slept far away, the sun crept up slowly behind a hill, paused for a moment and seemed to think twice...before it plunged down the other side and skidded giddily across the water."  Follow the sun's glorious trek to Coco's house and catch a glimpse of the lives and paths it intersects along the way.   Beautiful, lilting prose from Australian author/illustrator Bob Graham and an ingenious and engaging way to depict a quotidian event.  One of my favorites from 2015.  

Don’t miss everyone else’s favorite picks in the #littlelitbookseries on Instagram.