During one of those long summers filled with trips to the library, picnics on the floor, afternoons in the park, MOPS outings…..loved those trips to the fire stations….the handsome firemen…..hmmm…..ooops…..pardon me! Back to my point, we found another treasure at the library in the form of a picture book during one of those summers.
Fall Is Not Easy, written and illustrated by Marty Kelley, is a charming book for young children as well as elementary school students. Sam loved this book. This was a book that we checked out the maximum allowed…three times, then I ordered it through Borders Book store.
Fall Is Not Easy was a favorite read aloud of mine during story time for Kinder through sixth graders. This picture book talks about seasons, but focuses on the fall. I found that there were not many ‘Fall’ books in elementary school libraries; I would often bring my own books to school. It seems like there is always a “budget crisis” and spending money on books for children is a low priority for “administration.”
Sam loved the simple, but colorful illustrations in the book. Every child who has ever sat in a circle in front of me has laughed at the ‘story of the tree that doesn’t quite know what color to turn, come those cool days of fall.’ It is a quick read, but very interactive for kids of all ages. I once read this to a small group of children with very special needs. They loved it!
There are two more fun fall books for children that we’ve found over the years that I want to share with you. I think they are unique and fabulous because of their illustration styles.
The first book is called It’s Fall! written by Linda Glaser, the cut-paper illustrations by Susan Swan. It was the was the three dimensional cut-paper artwork that really grabbed my attention. Being a scrapbooker, I was fascinated by her designs. The illustrator layered hand painted papers. When she hand painted the paper, she was able to give the effect of depth and dimension, not to mention the gorgeous colors of autumn.
Paper layering is a scrapbooking technique that I have used several times on my pages, but not with the fabulous results that the illustrator had here. She featured Canadian geese, Monarch butterflies, and squirrels, all fabulously detailed with layered paper. My favorites were the tiny nesting owls.
The author and illustrator have also teamed up to produce books for the other three seasons. I plan to purchase them just for the amazing illustrations alone.
The third book I want to mention is Dappled Apples written by Jan Carr and illustrated by Dorothy Donohue. Along with the rhyming text, there are intricate illustrations created by using handmade paper, that was cut, layered and crumpled. This technique gives the pages texture and dimension. The first double page spread of the book are trees with leaves in vibrant autumn colors. I can’t wait to try and duplicate this on a double page scrapbook spread in an album I am working on. As with Glaser & Swan, Carr and Donohue have also produced “Splish, Splash, Spring” that incorporates the same unique style of illustration.
Even though we are drawing to a close on our elementary school days….that doesn’t stop me from enjoying picture books. The next time you are in a book store, walk around the children’s section. I guarantee you that you will find several books to take home. Treat the child in your life with a new book.
Update Fall 2009
Our elementary days are over, yet that has not decreased my love of children’s picture books. Just today, I had a lovely comment from the illustrator of It’s Fall, (along with Spring, Summer and Winter too) on my blog. I hope you will click on comments and stop read her kind words. Be sure you check out Susan Swan’s website, either listed below or on my Blog Honor Roll to the right.