July 13, 2009

Tuesday Coolsday

Cool finds from working the google reader on the internet machine. This is a special entry dedicated to children's books, an industry in which I'm interested in getting involved.

Cool children's book from my childhood:
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

"If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn't it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you'd have no choice. What if you didn't like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?"
This book by illustrator Ron Barrett and his wife, Judi, is a favorite and inspired me to become an artist as a child. What I think makes this book successful are the details and "easter eggs" found in the illustrations. You can read the story again and again and find new puns. For example, when I reread it recently, I noticed a moving truck on the street with the company name "Bowel Movers." A 4 year old won't get that, but their parents will! I'm especially excited that Sony is making a 3D movie based on the story coming out in September.

Cool children's book by a hero:
The Remarkable Farkle McBride

Written by actor John Lithgow and illustrated by one of my favorites, C.F. Payne, this book has a great sing-song rhythm to it. I think it would really appeal to children interested in music, or maybe inspire them to learn an instrument. Once again, this book has lots of interesting stuff scattered about the page to keep a child engaged.

Cool buddy who illustrates children's books:
Britt Spencer

Fellow Kentuckian turned Angelino does really great illustrations based on solid drawing, which is a relief to me after seeing all the "naive" artwork that my left-brained, untrained, can't-draw-a-stick-figure boyfriend is probably capable of. I digress. Britt recently had a book signing at Every Picture Tells a Story, a cool children's book store/gallery in Santa Monica. I had the pleasure of seeing his originals from his latest book, Zarafa. You should definitely take the time to peruse his site and check out his News page where he shares some amusing insights to his work and experiences.

Till next time, cheers!

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