In honor of the fact that it is 105° F in Portland today, I had my hair cut off ala Jamie Lee Curtis and am hiding in the one air-conditioned room in the house (which, lucky me, happens to be my little writing room). While I hide, I’m picking favorites off the shelf and thumbing through them. It’s not the kind of day where I have the energy or concentration to actually READ said books, just peruse them.
The image I’m posting is from one of my very favorite picture books: The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin, illustrated by Marc Simont (love, Love, LOVE him!) and edited by genius Charlotte Zolotow, Harper Collins, 1982.
This is one of a few picture books that make me laugh out loud.
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, Drawings by David Small (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008).
Poetic thread by poetic thread, Kathi Appelt weaves a spellbinding tale of hatred and love, pain and loss, fear and redemption. This was a re-read for me, as I couldn’t take it all in the first time around. For someone like me, who cannot bear the sight of a squashed squirrel in the street, it took the lull of Kathi’s mesmerizing prose to lure me into the story—and then, as though caught in quicksand, I was trapped within the tapestry of this mythical tale, along with Gar Face, Ranger, Grandmother, the Alligator King and the kittens. A rare and beautiful read—a classic.
David Small’s masterful illustrations offer a spare and sensitive counterpoint to the lush, descriptive prose.