Unwitting Wisdom : An Anthology of Aesop's Fables by Helen Ward

I loved this book from the moment I saw it in the book store. And I remember reading it to my daughter when she was a baby. It is a wonderful combination of illustrations and storytelling. The blurb above really doesn’t exaggerate about “creating with words and breathtaking watercolors a dazzling new collection destined to become a classic.”

Continue reading

Book Finds: The Tree of Here by Chaim Potok (Tony Auth, illustrator)

Perhaps the wistfulness and oddness feel different two decades later. In fact, I like how it is rather odd (with a comic book feel to the illustrations on some pages and more traditional illustrations on others). The story is meandering and messy rather than direct, neat and clean. Maybe the fact that it only cost me a dollar lowered my expectations. Who knows exactly, but I enjoyed reading it and found it worth owning.

Continue reading

Little Red Cap by Brothers Grimm,Lisbeth Zwerger (Illustrator)

We haven’t discussed a Lisbeth Zwerger book here in a while so as we head toward 2012 lets sneak in one more book.  I picked up Little Red Cap – the story most people know as Little Red Ridding Hood – recently and, not surprisingly, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Children’s Literature review:

This is a reissue of the book that originally was published in 1987. It is a version of the beloved tale of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Once again, children become acquainted with the charming little girl who always wears the red cap that was given to her by her grandmother. One day while on her way to visit her ailing grandmother, she meets the sly and cunning wolf in the forest. He persuades her to wander off the path and gather some flowers for her grandmother, while he rushes to grandmother’s house and gobbles her up. He then pretends to be grandmother and also devours Little Red Cap. Of course, the brave and clever hunter saves both the old lady and Little Red Cap. Zwerger’s beautiful illustrations are an ideal accompaniment to the text as they portray the characters (especially the wolf) with depth and emotion. All libraries should add this to their fairy tale collection.

Unlike some of the other volumes I have covered, this one is perfect for reading out loud. The pages alternate between text – without any unique fonts – and illustrations.  Zwerger offers her reliably evocative and playful illustrations that compliment this classic so well.

As noted above, the wolf  is particularly charming with a variety of facial expressions to match his deviousness as he tricks the innocent, and naive, Red Cap. Continue reading