Plugging books for authors and illustrators is also a very good thing!
Here is my #picbookaday for November . . .
Day 1: family. Line 135 by Germano Zullo and Albertine (Chronicle) is a landscape book featuring a very long train as it meanders through striking linework landscapes, taking a wee girl to visit her grandma. A joyful book of family.
Day 2: friends. Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins) is a lyrical tale about friendship like you've never seen it before. And the illos are to die for. #typicaljeffers
Day 3: pets. Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly and Stephen Michael King (Scholastic) is the sweetest tale of a young girl and her desire for a pet. Alas, her parents are not so keen, so Prudence resorts to sticks and branches and tyres - just too cute. And SMK images are charm personified.
Day 4: colours. Classic classic classic Alain Grée - at his best. A must for concept book lovers.
Day 5: numbers. Numerical Street by Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell (New South). Brand new book from this talented duo - all about numbers ... and lots of artistic quirk! Cool rhyming prose, too.
Day 6: food. You Are What You Eat, and other mealtime hazards by Serge Bloch (Sterling Juvenile). A delightful play on food-related adages, complete with Bloch's iconic line drawings and photographic elements, too. A fave.
Day 7: buildings. Young Frank Architect by Frank Viva (MoMA). Simply adore Frank Viva's books, especially his quasi-biographical books like this one. Both text and illos immensely rewarding.
Day 8: imagination. What's Hidden in the Woods? by Aina Bestard (Thames & Hudson). One of those books that make your heart flutter then gallop, this gorgeous creation epitomises the imagination in full flight, with interactive elements that stun and delight. Using the enclosed coloured magnifying glasses in green, blue and red, kids will marvel as animals and flowers and houses are revealed, hidden away in the astonishing patterning that makes up each page. One of my favourite books this year.
Day 9: clothes. That's My Hat! by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud (Thames & Hudson). Who knew a small item of clothing could cause such chaos! Gorgeous, gorgeous pop-up paper-cut book featuring a whimsical chase through various parts of town. A stunning color palette of illos on fresh white pages.
Day 10: seasons. Tree: Seasons Come, Seasons Go by Britta Teckentrup (Little Tiger Kids). Talk about high production values - this amazing book features scene after scene of the same tree, with strategically placed cut-outs that reveal all manner of seasonal changes - from leaves and snow to an abundance of critters coming and going, both within the tree foliage and in the grounds around the tree. Clever, thoughtful and visually superb.
Day 11: indigenous. Hide and Seek by Charlene Man (Laurence King). This glorious hard cover picture book takes kids on a journey to vast and varied parts of the world, to visit indigenous animals in their native habitat. Oftentimes, these animals are found nowhere else in the world. Sumptuous illos make this a visual delight.
Day 12: music. The Conductor by Laetitia Devernay (Chronicle). A visual magnum opus, this stunning book combines a conductor and a bevy of birds and leaves that take flight upon an imaginary melody.
Day 13: travel. A Trip to the Bottom of the World by Frank Viva (Toon Books). Eye-popping illos so typical of Frank - along with an equally typical tale of humor and cleverness and sheer fun. Both an eye fest and a great adventure.
Day 14: environment. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle). A divine journey through the changes the garden experiences through the year - both above and below the soil, where myriad creatures maintain an ecosystem all children should immerse themselves in. Beautiful, uncoated paper is the perfect canvas for these striking and heartwarming illustrations.
Day 15: mess. Sky High by Germano Zullo and Albertine (Chronicle). This sky high book tells the tale of two competitive sods who scrabble to create the tallest, most outrageous house possible. Until, of course, the mess to end all messes occurs! Sensational line drawings by Albertine; I LOVE this book.
Day 16: endpapers. The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan and Sol Linero (Wide Eyed Editions). Endpaper pages are valuable real estate. They're the first internal pages seen and really set the tone for what's to come. Having quite the endpaper obsession, I love it when they're pretty, clever and elaborate but I also love it when they use the space for More, as is the case with The 50 States - the front endpapers feature a brightly coloured map and the rear endpapers feature state flags. Brilliant.
Day 17: holidays. Madame Eiffel by Alice Briere Haquet and Csil (Little Gestalten). When I think of holidays, I don't think of lying on the beach sipping cocktails. I think travel. Any excuse to travel to Paris in this surreal and achingly wistful book about the healing power of love and the magnificent Eiffel Tower. The textured illustrations are out of this world.
Day 18: vehicles. Otto in the City by Tom Schamp (Tate). You want vehicles? You got it, baby. There's dozens upon dozens in this large format 'loop' book - where the road starts on page one then meanders all the way to the back of the book before turning around and coming home again. Kids can follow Otto and his dad through all manner of towns and cities and freeways, with gorgeously eclectic illustrations and so much 'busy', eyes will boggle. Love.
Day 19: school. Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School by David Mackintosh (HarperCollins). Witty, charming, quirky, full of heart. That's why I love the books of David Mackintosh. Marshall Armstrong does fit any mould. Most people would take great delight in bullying this child - that's how different he is. Yet Marshall's insistence on remaining true to himself soon makes him the most popular kid in school. Priceless.
Day 20: weather. Nature's Day by Kay Maguire and Danielle Kroll (Wide Eyed). This beautifully detailed and illustrated book is a nature lover's dream. As it takes the reader through the seasons, we revisit several sites that change and grow over time. Weather is featured for each site, as is flora and fauna and even what those pesky humans get up to. Divine in detail and gorgeous illos. A seasonal feast.
Day 21: animals. Animalium by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom (The Five Mile Press). Enormous format and astonishingly illustrated with pictures of illustrious, scientific detail, this wander through a world class 'museum' of animals will have any reader wandering in wonder.
Day 25: adventure. Shackleton's Journey by William Grill (Flying Eye Books). This truly gorgeous, evocative and visual adventure traces the extraordinary journey to Antarctica, led by explorer Ernest Shackleton. Astonishing in tale and with illustrations to ooh over, it's little wonder this book won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal this year (making Grill, at 25, the youngest winner in over 50 years).
Day 26: art. Seen Art? by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith (Viking). I love this book! It's a true treasure. Virtually a tour through the MoMA (do I need to go on?), it follows a gorgeous character as he searches for 'Art' and is consistently directed to the Museum, when all along, he was only really looking for Art. If you don't know what I mean, you'll have to read the book! It's truly heavenly.
Day 27: occupation. Mr Elephanter by Lark Pien (Candlewick). One of the joys of growing older is realising that there are some pretty cool jobs in the world, and none cooler than Elephant Carer. Mr Elephanter is in charge of the baby elephants, and oh he adores them! This book is quirky, cool and too cute for words.
Day 28: diversity. Charley Harper, An Illustrated Life, collated by Todd Oldham (AMMO). A different take on 'diversity', this astonishing book showcases the jaw-dropping diversity and beauty of the work of illustrator Charley Harper, whose career stretched over seven decades. An absolute must for anyone with an adoration for illustration.
Day 29: movement. Wave by Suzy Lee (Chronicle). This wordless picture book is astoundingly beautiful in its simplicity. A dance between a young girl and the movement of the ocean, it will leave children silent and mesmerised. Adults, too.
Day 30: sport. Cheetah Can't Lose by Bob Shea (Balzer + Bray). This gorgeously-designed, action-packed and funny story is an absolute winner. There will be no pouting if you lose! Bob Shea at his best.