Review: Oh, No, George! April 17, 2012Posted by Galaxy in Book Reviews, New on the shelves.
Tags: dogs, humor, picture books, reviews
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” ‘Yes,’ says George ‘I’ll be very good.’ I hope I’ll be good, George thinks,” when Harry steps out for a little while. But, “Oh, no, George!,” the lure of a cake, a playful cat, and a garden bed prove too strong to resist. How will the poor, disgraced pup redeem himself?
Using a vibrant palette of reds and purples, author/illustrator Chris Haughton paints George and his antics in an abstract style that allows the characters expressions to shine through, eliciting both laughter and sympathy for this well-meaning pooch.
Haughton wrote a fantastic, well-illustrated, blog post about the process of writing and illustrating this book, from conception to layout. Click here to read all about it!
Review: Blueberry Girl April 3, 2009Posted by Sandy in Book Reviews.
Tags: fiction, picture books, reviews
Blueberry Girl, by Neil Gaiman; illustrated by Charles Vess
First of all, I will admit that I’m biased: I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman, so I’m predisposed to like just about anything he writes. (Not everything, though. I’m not fond of many comic book/graphic novels, so after struggling through Preludes & Nocturnes, I gave up hope of reading the whole Sandman series.) That being said, I absolutely fell in love with Blueberry Girl the moment I held it in my hands.
Gaiman and Charles Vess have teamed up before, for a couple of the Sandman comics, and for an illustrated version of Stardust. They are a perfect combination for this project, which is a picture book version of a poem Gaiman wrote for his friend Tori Amos when she was pregnant with her daughter.
Blueberry Girl is written as a prayer to the Fates to give the child a life that will make her strong, wise, and beautiful in all ways. Gaiman’s rhythmic rhyme entreats the Fates (portrayed as all-seeing women who are as often fickle and mysterious as they are loving and generous in their ways) to protect the girl: “Keep her from spindles and sleeps at sixteen, let her stay waking and wise,” but also acknowledges the necessity of hard times: “Her joys must be high as her sorrows are deep,” and “Help her to help herself, help her to stand, help her to lose and to find.”
This sweet poem is gorgeously complemented by the illustrations. Vess has painted a series of adventurous young girls playing in wild settings, surrounded by plants and animals, sky and water. His illustrations are graceful and lovely, but also vibrant and full of movement. The birds, animals, and girls found here are ready to fly, run, swim, and jump off of the pages.
Together, Gaiman and Vess have created a book that is sure to be a treasured gift for expectant mothers, newborn daughters, and girls and women of all ages.