Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exhibits Hall ALA: Picture Books Edition

As much as I might scour through publisher catalogs, there are always literary gems that wouldn't have caught my eye unless seen in person. I really enjoyed running across interesting items in the ALA Annual exhibits hall this year.

Here are a few books which grabbed my attention.

I Can Be a Real Boy
by Guido van Genechten
Clavis Publishing

I liked this little Belgian import board book.  Each page shows a cheerful boy dressed for a different possible career: cowboy, sailor, chef.  There's a companion volume, I Can Be a Real Girl, which has (nearly) all the same careers.

A Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes
by Salley Mavor
Houghton Mifflin
September 2010

I like this looks of this.  The embroidered fabric relief illustrations reminded me a lot of Clare Beaton's work.  Beautiful!

Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night
by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
Houghton Mifflin
September 2010

From the author of last year's Caldecott Honor winning book, Red Sings From Treetops, this is a gorgeous collection of nighttime poetry.  I love the woodcut illustrations.

Bubble Trouble
by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Polly Dunbar
Clarion Books

Apple-cheeked children chase a baby who's on the loose in this English import.  The language is infectious and bouncy.

Flora's Very Windy Day
by Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Matt Phelan
Clarion Books
August 2010

Here's a great sibling story, illustrated in Phelan's trademark energetic, flowing style.

All My Friends Are Dead
by Avery Monsen, illustrated by Jory John
Chronicle Books

This little book is hilarious.  Imagine Remy Charlip's Fortunately... without any of the positive reversals of fortune.  This is gallows humor at it's finest.

by Steven Jenkins
August 2010

Steve Jenkins is one of my favorite illustrators.  This volume has a more restrained color palette than his other works.  White, grey, a bit of yellow and black stand out against various bold background colors on each page.

A Garden for Pig
by Kathryn Thurman, illustrated by Lindsay Ward
Kane Miller

I'm sorry to say I didn't jot down the publisher information on this one. Is it self-published?  The collage illustrations are winsome, and make use of paint and fabric, especially raw muslin. It's based on a true story of a pig who planted and fertilized his own garden. Great for ecologically minded readers.

*edit: I've been alerted that the publisher is Kane Miller. Thanks!*


  1. Hello Madigan,
    Thanks for mentioning my new book, Pocketful of Posies. Did you hear that I'm having a traveling show of the original fabric relief illustrations? You can find out about it on my blog.
    Salley Mavor

  2. What an amazing photo essay! I love all the close-ups of your work. Too bad the traveling show isn't headed my way.



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