'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Review: Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter

Honestly? As if we need ANYONE to tell us why picture books matter - but I was nonetheless drawn to this book, least of all for its title but also for the fact that its front cover has been Mo Willems-fied. How could I resist?

And the content is equally irresistible.

The foreword is penned by Caldecott medal winner David Wiesner, who quite rightly notes that it is through a book's images that a child first understands the world of the story. He also notes that picture books leave the imagination energised and/or leave children giggling maniacally on the floor.

Having an unholy obsession and deep love of picture books, I hear his words. Even the giggling.

Compiled and edited by renowned children's literature authority, Leonard S Marcus, Show Me a Story! features mesmerising interviews with a mind-boggling line-up of picture book creators - of all artforms - essentially quizzing them on their creative processes and why picture books are so important for children.

Interviewees include William Steig, Kevin Henkes, Mo Willems, Quentin Blake, Eric Carle, Peter Sis, James Marshall, Helen Oxenbury, Robert McCloskey, Maurice Sendak, Yumi Heo and many more. Their responses are evocative, enlightening and richly fascinating - and the reader is also treated to a series of centre-page full colour plates on their artwork.

An absolute must-have for picture book lovers . . . which is pretty much everyone . . . this is a joy to read through and to celebrate the glory of combined word and image.

Title: Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter
Editor: Leonard S Marcus
Illustrators: Various
Publisher: Candlewick Press, $34.95 RRP
Publication Date: 3 May 2012
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780763635060
For ages: Adult
Type: Compilation