From OtLS favorite, Molly Idle, this wordless picture book is flat-out awesome! I just bought my first copy of Flora and the Flamingo to give away as a gift. This book falls into so many categories, but let me first tell you what it’s about. Flora (who appears to be an aspiring toddler ballerina-swimmer), begins mimicking a flamingo. Then she continues mimicking the flamingo. She mimics a little more and eventually, the pair dances off into pink nirvana.
I hadn’t heard of author/illustrator Satoshi Kitamura until Mama Funk began taking a course in children’s picture book illustrating (the course was analyzing picture books, not learning how to draw them). When Sheep Cannot Sleep: The Counting Book (originally published in 1988) was on the course’s syllabus, and rightfully so. This book sparked an animated discussion regarding the widely varying opinions on the illustrations. Some people didn’t get it. Others loved it. Some thought it spooky. Some people read into every illustrated detail: What does it mean that one of the 13 doors was open? Why isn’t anyone else in the house? Why did Kitamura illustrate only inside the bordered boxes on the page? And where are the rest of the sheep?!?
Written (and, of course, illustrated) by OtLS favorite, David Shannon, Jangles: A Big Fish Story tells the story of the legendary fish that no one’s been able to catch. First, the narrator explains the historic lore of Jangles, then how Jangles got his name (his mouth is pierced with innumerable hooks and he makes a jangling sound when he is near). The narrator proceeds to tell how his father, as a boy, once hooked Jangles, and was dragged on an undersea adventure with the big fish. The real magic of this book, is that the main subject is a big fish, who is depicted on nearly every page. Yet he is not a cartoony, smiling, anthropomorphic fish; Jangles looks real (perfectly captured in the fabulous oil paintings).
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, by Patty Lovell will give anyone the confidence to be proud of who they are. Molly Lou Melon, is short, bucktoothed, and sounds funny, but her grandmother always told her to believe in herself and be proud of herself, so that’s what she does. When she moves to a new home and starts at a new school, Ronald Durkin, the local bully, makes fun of each of Molly Lou Melon’s unique features. Molly Lou Melon, however, stays positive and proves Ronald wrong at every turn.