Here are my two favorite nonfiction picture books from this past week. They are both simply amazing. I was on a nonfiction panel with these guys at NCTE in November, but didn’t even really have a chance to say hi. But at least I can share some of their gorgeous work.
Giant Squid (Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann)
Stunning. This is beautiful, moody, lyrical, and, best of all, it makes me want to know even more about giant squids (and I’ve read about them in several other books already). Very cinematic and dramatic. What fun it must be to read aloud to kids and open up that gatefold. Beautiful work. Great resources at the back. Seriously, my only nitpick is a run-on sentence in the endmatter–a comma where there should be a semi-colon. That’s it. The rest is pretty much perfection.
“Here are its tentacles,
curling and twisting and thirty feet long,
a passing fish…
anything swimming by.”
This is like a wonderful nature program on TV with a narrator doing voice-over. Love the information. The watercolor art totally fits the odd character and setting. My only nitpick is that I wish the two fonts were more distinct. For leveled text, they are too similar. Other than that, wow. The verbs. The voice. Fabulous.
“Night settles in. Frogs croon to the starry sky. Thirsty wallabies appear at the creek edge to drink. Under the cover of darkness, Platypus rides the current, performs back flips, rolls over and over and over.”