Friday, November 21, 2014

PICTURE BOOK MONTH: Some new great wordless books


Whimsical and touching images tell the story of an unexpected friendship and the revelations it inspires in this moving, wordless picture book from two-time Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee.

A baby clown is separated from his family when he accidentally bounces off their circus train and lands in a lonely farmer's vast, empty field. The farmer reluctantly rescues the little clown, and over the course of one day together, the two of them make some surprising discoveries about themselves and about life!

Sweet, funny, and moving, this wordless picture book from a master of the form and the creator of The Boss Baby speaks volumes and will delight story lovers of all ages.


To be honest when I first heard about this book I thought it sounded kind of strange. I mean a farmer and a clown?! However the more good things I heard about it the more I decided I should probably at least look at it.  And I am so glad that I did.  For one thing its by Marla Frazee whose illustration style I really like and this book is no different. Cute is a good word for this book.  The book starts with a farmer working in his field who is interrupted by something falling off a passing train.  That something turns out to be a little clown.  The rest of the story revolves around the activities of the farmer and clown until the train returns. The interactions between the two characters are really sweet, especially when the farmer greets the young clown by making a face and doing a jib in his long johns. All the good things I've heard about the book turn out to be true.   The book shares an unusual friendship between two very different characters who eventually go their own ways but who have left a mark on each other (and something a little more in the case of the little clown). A wonderful wordless book perfect for stimulating young imaginations that reminds the reader that even those with little in common can be friends if they try hard enough.


Based on his own childhood, beloved and award-winning artist Raul Colon's wordless book is about the limitless nature of creativity and imagination.

A boy alone in his room.
Sketchbook in hand.
What would it be like to on safari?

A boy named Leonardo begins to imagine and then draw a world afar—first a rhinoceros, and then he meets some monkeys, and he always has a friendly elephant at his side. Soon he finds himself in the jungle and carried away by the sheer power of his imagination, seeing the world throuhg his own eyes and making friends along the way. 


Raul Colon has created a wonderfully imaginative tale with this wordless picture book.  A young boy sits in his room after looking at a book about Africa and picks up his sketchbook to draw.  He imagines himself on a journey in Africa where he runs into a bunch of different animals who he draws in his sketchbook.  Not only are the illustrations amazing but the story is a homage to the wonderful power of a child's imagination to take them places without ever leaving home.  I especially liked the change in the illustrations from the boy's room to the safari demonstrating the vibrancy that can exist in the human mind.


From the creator of The Boy and the Airplane, a touching wordless picture book about a little girl, a shiny bicycle, and the meaning of persistence with an unexpected payoff.

A little girl sees a shiny new bicycle in the shop window. She hurries home to see if she has enough money in her piggy bank, but when she comes up short, she knocks on the doors of her neighbors, hoping to do their yardwork. They all turn her away except for a kindly old woman.

The woman and the girl work through the seasons, side by side. They form a tender friendship. When the weather warms, the girl finally has enough money for the bicycle. She runs back to the store, but the bicycle is gone! What happens next shows the reward of hard work and the true meaning of generosity.

Wordless, timeless, and classic, The Girl and the Bicycle carries a message of selflessness and sweet surprises and makes an ideal gift for graduations and other special occasions. 


I loved this wordless book from the moment I saw it in ARC form.  Not only are the illustrations darling but it is such a delightful story.  A young girl sees a bicycle in a window is determined to have it but after looking at her piggy bank realizes she doesn't have enough money.  She sells lemonade and some of her toys but still doesn't have enough.  Thanks to a kindly neighbor she does yard and garage work to help earn the money.  The book takes her through the whole year it takes her. What is especially neat about the book is what the little girl does when she goes back to the story to buy the bicycle only to find it gone.  And the special treat in store when she and her little brother, who has been tagging along through most of the story, get back home.  Truly a great book about the power of kindness and generosity given and received. In this case, pictures really are more powerful than words.

Picture Book Month

1 comment:

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