So, I have A LOT of picture books out from the library right now (there's a sampling of them above) but last week in my Children's Literature class we were asked to think about what makes a picture book great. On Tuesday we discussed picture books and Thursday comics/graphic novels, and our professor asked us to think about what makes a perfect picture book, and also what are our favorite picture books and graphic novels, excluding Where the Wild Things Are and Hugo Cabret, which we discussed in class. So, these are the books I ended up bringing in, and I even found my favorite picture book from when I was little on our bookshelf!
My all time favorite book when I was little, that I remember looking at and reading all of the time was Nancy White Carstrom's and Bruce Degen's Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
Some of my favorite spreads and pages from the book:
And this last spread here below, was my absolute favorite, I think in part because the light is so wonderful and magical and safe, but also because I was obsessed with The Little Princess film when I was little, and well still am, and I loved the idea that when she was asleep or when she close the door her toys came to life, and I remember thinking that about this page, that perhaps as I turned the page and Jesse's eyes finally closed, all of these toys would burst to life!
Now for graphic novels and especially comics, that's a place that I have yet to really experiment a lot with. However from what I have read, I do have some favorites, and some not so favorites, and I'll share the ones I brought into class that I really liked:
I absolutely loved this book by Eugene Yelchin! And I put it here with graphic novels because it's toeing the same line as Hugo Cabret. Of course it's shorter than Hugo, and thus has fewer images, but in this text the images play as important a role as the words, and as in Hugo Cabret where there are pages in which the story is only being conveyed in image, the same is true to Breaking Stalin's Nose. And the illustrations that Yelchin has created are just so perfect for the novel, there's something so quintessentially Soviet about them, I felt as if I was bringing to life the moments of history I had learned about in my "Portraits of Soviet Russia" college course three years ago! Also, I'm not sure if anyone else has read a book called Timur and his Gang/Team, probably not, but it's an old Soviet children's book, and I keep coming back to the idea that it would be incredible to see that text with Yelchin's illustrations!
Here are a few more images from Breaking Stalin's Nose:
The other graphic novels that I've really loved (I really also want to read Spiegelman's Maus, I've heard about it for so long and haven't read it yet!):
So, what are you favorite picture books and graphic novels/comics?? What was your favorite picture book when you were little?