In winter I often desire bright colors and beautiful images. One way I find to fulfill this craving is by borrowing picture books from my public library. I like to share my favorites with other readers.
The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Jump At The Sun Books, New York, 2009
This is a beautifully illustrated book using the words of a powerful Langston Hughes poem and full page water color paintings by E.B. Lewis. I wish I could find an example of a painting from the book to show you but I could not find any on the web. Please visit his site to see samples of his work.
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
Illustrations by David Small
Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 1997
This is the story of Lydia Grace Finch, forced by the depression to move to the city and help out in her Uncle Jim’s bakery. Uncle Jim doesn’t smile. Lydia Grace loves gardening and brings that love to a dull corner of the city, planting seeds and bulbs in what ever will hold some dirt. Her care and generosity enliven the bakery and, eventually, the entire neighborhood. Told through a series of letters, wonderfully drawn and washed with color by Stewart’s husband, David Small, this is a perfect book to read in the middle of winter.
Market! by Ted Lewin
Lothop, Lee & Shepard Books, New York, 1996
From the mountains of the Andes to the souks of Morocco, Ted Lewin brings us to market. The paintings are stunning, the faces of the people are beautiful. This book shows many great economic and social meeting places. They are found in Nepal, in Ireland, in the Bronx. It shows the effort and dedication people use to make a living.