Saturday, December 12, 2009

Children's Author Highlight 1: David Wiesner

So, working at the library is kind of amazing. I get to people-watch, eavesdrop on conversations, get followed around by little kids who try to help me put books back on the shelves (they're not so good at it, but their effort is commendable), and best of all -- I get to read children's books and not feel judged by it. How else could I help patrons find what they are looking for unless I myself have read some of these books? Yes, I could chalk it up to just that-- research.

Or... I could admit that I am still obsessed with children's books. So much so that I take home 10 at a time and sometimes read them aloud to my mom. The tables have turned! She's a good sport though. Honestly, children's books are some of the most interesting and intricate books you can find. Of course, this doesn't apply to all, but some artists/writers have gotten really creative with these things. And so this is why I have decided to pick out a few of my favorites-- some for their art, and some for their new ideas, or new ways of presenting them. Either way, enjoy. And please leave comments with recommendations of your own! Thus begins my Children's Author Highlight Reel, featuring many writers/illustrators who I think deserve special recognition for their work.

Here is the first author I have decided to highlight-- and my new favorite.

DAVID WIESNER: I really like authors who illustrate their own books because they have complete control over how the entire project turns out. David Wiesner is someone who doesn't even have to write to tell a story, and he has several books which contain no words at all. It's beautiful. In addition to writing several of his own books, he has done illustrations for many books by other authors, putting his creativity and skilled artistic abilities to great use.

Tuesday by David Wiesner -- Caldecott Medal Winner
  • I laughed aloud at this one. A lot. If you ever wondered what you're missing while you sleep, this could make you want to stay up a little bit later....
The Three Pigs by David Wiesner -- Caldecott Medal Winner
  • This starts out as a retelling of the classic fairy tale... but then the characters turn the tables.
June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner
  • I initially picked this up because June 29th is my birthday. If you like oversized foods floating through the air (like in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), then this book is for you.
Flotsam by David Wiesner -- Caldecott Medal Winner
  • Imagine being on a beach and finding an underwater camera washed up on shore. When the pictures are developed, what will the pictures show? What do sea creatures do when the scientists aren't watching?
Free Fall by David Wiesner -- Caldecott Honor
  • This beautiful narrative takes you through a dream sequence that would make M.C. Escher proud. I couldn't believe this didn't win the Caldecott Winner Medal, but I guess they've got to give someone else a chance.
Sector 7 by David Wiesner -- Caldecott Honor
  • Again, no words. This time his story takes you into the clouds and might explain why you see things in them.

Alright-- so there is the first Children's Author Highlight for this blog. There will be more to come, so check back with me. Next up (though not necessarily in this order) are: Chris van Allsburg, Jane Yolen, Jan Brett, and Bill Peet!