Black & White Picture Books

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Have you noticed a trend in black & white picture books. The first that I can remember (in recent years) is Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes. My son loved this when he was little. This book doesn’t need color. The bold lines and wonderful expressions on the kitten are enough to capture the attention of a young one. Plus the story is great in and of itself. I was beginning to wonder this year if the Caldecott judges are into black and white, because they picked another (Kitten’s First Full Moon won in 2005) black and white picture book this year with House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson. I thought this book was so-so, but my son enjoyed it. The illustrations are nice, but there were other books, that I would have picked over this one. Looking at the Caldecott list, I realize that I forgot about Brian Selznick’s Invention of Hugo Cabret I wasn’t thinking of this, because it’s for an older child, but it is a fantastic book and I was so happy that it won. alldayCaldecott’s aside, we have been reading a mostly black and white book by Cynthia Rylant illustrated by Nikki McClure called All in a Day. It’s basically a nice illustrated poem. No offense to Ms. Rylant (we love many, many of her books) but this could have been just an okay book, but the illustrations make it a wonderful book. They almost add to the story. The little boy in his jeans with suspenders and untied shoes is so sweet and he’s followed everywhere by a chicken. McClure captures the innocence and sweetness of little children who try, but don’t always succeed. Another Caldecott? We’ll see.

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