Two delightful debut picture books recently graced my doorstep, courtesy of Candlewick, and it’s my pleasure to introduce them to all of you.
“What a great wide world there is to explore when you let your imagination take flight,” says the back cover of DANDELION’S DREAM, a wordless picture book by Yoko Tanaka. Amidst a field of dandelions, Dandelion blossoms into an actual lion, trading roots for four moveable paws. The yellow of the dandelion’s head becomes the lion’s circular mane, a focal point against the background of muted grayish colors. This allows readers to follow the yellow spots as Dandelion explores the world with childlike delight. There are so many beautifully wrought images, from sheltering under a bird’s wing to traveling on a fluffy sheep’s back to marveling at a Dandelion-sized kernel of popcorn. The story ends with Dandelion going to seed, with individual tufts taking flight and forming the rough image of a lion. Perspectives, senses, and emotions swirl about in this beautiful book, allowing for multiple levels of enjoyment and discussion. Due to the dreamy quality of the illustrations, I can absolutely see this becoming a favorite goodnight book, too.
This is Yoko Tanaka’s solo debut, but she also illustrated THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT by Kate DiCamillo, PRINCESSLAND by Emily Jenkins, and SPARROW GIRL by Sara Pennypacker. From Yoko’s website: If you want to join my mailing list to receive news and updates, please get in touch and write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BLUNDERS: A Counting Catastrophe! is written by Christina Soontornvat and illustrated by Colin Jack. The mother of ten unruly kids sends them outside to play, making them promise to keep track of each other. “Yes, Mother!” “We Will!” “We promise!” are the enthusiastic replies, punctuated by the liberal use of exclamation points. After an active day outside, hilarity ensues when each sibling takes a turn at tallying up the kiddos, but one after the other fails to count themself. Can you imagine how much fun it will be for young readers to discover this oversight? This post’s featured image, taken from the book, illustrates this counting catastrophe wonderfully. Delightfully written and illustrated, this is sure to become a favorite of young children and their families. For the love of waffles, run out and get yourself a copy!
To check out all of Christina’s books, go to her colorful website: click here
Colin Jack is a story and set designer at Dreamworks (!!!!) as well as the illustrator of several charming books for children. You can follow Colin on Twitter @colinjack8.