Day: May 4, 2017

The Hawk of the Castle by Danna Smith

The Hawk of the Castle by Danna Smith

The Hawk of the Castle by Danna Smith, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline (9780763679927, Amazon)

Journey back to medieval times in this nonfiction picture book about the skill of falconry. Told through the point of view of a young girl living in the castle, the text of the book is done in simple verse that hearkens back to traditional tales. Inset in each double-page spread is detailed information on falconry that shows the various parts of owning and caring for a hunting raptor. The book goes through all of the gear that is needed to own a falcon or hawk and then shows the hawk hunting for prey.

Smith has created a gorgeous two-layered book where her light hand with the verse and its traditional format clearly anchors the story in medieval times. That plays against the information shared about falconry which is clear and matter-of-fact. The text makes sure that readers never mistake the hawk for a traditional pet and never misunderstand that the hawk has emotions about their owner.

Ibatoulline’s illustrations are gorgeous. Bordered in a traditional black-and-white hawk theme, they have a lovely formality about them that suits the subject well. The paintings offer a feel of the majesty of the hawk. As the bird takes to the air so do the illustrations allowing a feel of freedom and joy.

This book truly soars, offering information for those wanting to know about falconry and a lovely poetic view as well. Appropriate for ages 6-8.

Reviewed from library copy.

 

 

My Pictures After the Storm by Éric Veillé

My Pictures After the Storm by Éric Veillé

My Pictures After the Storm by Éric Veillé (9781776571048, Amazon)

Before and after takes a humorous turn in this picture book. The first part of each pair of illustrations shows normalcy. Then something happens and everything changes. In the first pages, there are items from a beach and then after the storm things are tipped over, towels blow away, and ice cream falls. Lunch is shown and then after lunch everything is munched and changed. Other changes get more silly such as animals going to a hairdresser or mislabeled objects get relabeled or creatures eat too many potato chips.

Veillé has created a picture book that is a joy to share. The pictures are fun to explore and children will love spotting the differences. There is a zany nature to the illustrations, done in simple lines and bright, flat colors. The simplicity adds to the fun as the objects shift and change after an event.

Much more than a concept book, this is a funny and wry look at the chaos of life before and after. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Gecko Press.