Friday, September 29, 2006

Children's Literature: Snowmen At Night

I was listening to a recent Writing Show podcast with artist Kalman Andrasofszky and was fascinated with the discussion of colour and light source in illustrations. Having been a comic book fan for most of my life, I could see where Kalman was coming from and why he highlighted the importance of that.

Shortly after listening to that particular episode, I was reading a board book I'd borrowed from the library for Alexander called Snowmen At Night (by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner) -- and the importance shone in an entirely new light. (Pun completely intended, of course)

Not only is the story a fun and intriguing one (it explains to children how snowmen get all droopy and lopsided and disheveled looking overnight -- isn't it obvious? They gather together, horse around and play wonderful snowman games all night - that's how)

It's a wonderful story, fun for both adults and kids, and the artwork is truly spectacular as well. The wonderful lighting effects of the snowmen playing at night was done quite wonderfully, the multiple light sources of the full moon and the streetlights offering up some of the best illustrated lighting effects I've seen in a long time.

Kudos to the Buehner's for such a marvelous book. I think the larger format hardcover of this one is a book we'll want to buy and add to Alexander's collection. (Perhaps just because I love reading it so much)

(Speaking of fun snowmen stories, two of my snowmen stories "That Old Silk Hat They Found" and "Ides of March" are available in eBook form at Amazon, Kobo and many other places)


Mellissa said...

I love childrens books - the illustrations are such magic. Some of my favorites are by Tasha Tudor...


Andy said...

Hello Mark...
I was just Blog Hopping around and came accross your Blog.

Greetings from United Kingdom

Anonymous said...

I've always been a fan of Brett Helquist and Chris Riddell. They illustrate young adult books (specifically the Lemony Snicket and Edge Chronicles series respectively), but their illustrations give such life to the characters.

I've always loved kids books, and if I'm ever blessed as my friends have been, I will be sure to put this one on my list!

lime said...

oh what a wonderful book! my kids are 15, 13, 11 but i still LOVE the picture books. so many wonderful artists and children's writers out there.

have you ever checked any of the kid's book by chris van allsburg. i think he did jumanji and polar express but he has some wordless books that have some of the most amazingly whimsical artwork.

Rainypete said...

And here I thought that snowmen got all droopy because they were like middle aged guys sucking in their guts when an attractive girl walked by - they can only hang on for so long.

I love any kids books that don't treat the readers like they are mentally damaged. I often find the stuff in them is oversimplified to the point of brain pain. I'll have to check this one out.