a biased and uninformed look at children's books these days.
"uninformed" because everything I'm about to say is based on a 35 minute browsing of the Staff Picks section at Monroe Public Library. "biased" because of course I love the books I grew up with...
I would describe children's books made this millennium as loud. plots based around brats being uncooperative and yell-y. every other page a close up of a child with lines radiating out of his/her mouth indicating some kind of loud noise. hard to find a book that looks like someone actually drew it, instead brightly colored blocky characters straight out of an afternoon cartoon . there is no subtlety to these books- you barely have to look at these books they are so loud and fast paced.
i prefer the classics.
here is a page form "a kiss for little bear"*
the plot: grandmother gives chicken a kiss to give straight to little bear, but the kiss gets sidetracked and misplaced and found again . this is a scene i remember just STARING at. in the back we see little bear laughing about the whole situation. its not mentioned in the text that little bear knows about the misplaced kiss fiasco, its something we find out through the illustration. All the illustrations have subtleties like this, forcing the reader to slow down and actually LOOK at the book, and give you reason to go back and read it again.
in this scene from "Sylvester and the magic pebble"**, Sylvester's parents are questioning the neighbors on Sylvester's whereabouts.
oooooh i love this drawing - the attentive duck neighbors, the dogs playing in the background. I'm unsure how to describe why i love this so much. its just funny. but not loudly funny.
here is a newish book i liked (2004) ,"kitten's first full moon"***
just a nice story about a cat. no yelling or misbehavin'
*words by Else Minarik, illustrations by xoxo Maurice Sendak xoxox