Three of our new books from the library this week have provided an excellent example of different illustration styles, and they are all great stories.
Cowboy Bunnies by Christine Loomis is illustrated by Ora Eitan with paintings on wood panels. The bunnies and their antics are fun and full of energy. Loomis' rhyming prose is lively and beautiful: "Mamas sing sweet lullabies / Papas softly Harmonize / Stars are twinkling Stars are bright / Cowboy bunnies Say goodnight."
Mr. Gumpy's Outing, written and illustrated by John Burningham is a happy story, full of movement from Burningham's great line drawings and mellow, natural colors. The fact that the kids and animals eventually do what Mr. Gumpy warns them against shows cause-and-effect, but with a nice outcome. It's all good, even if you dump your boat in the river... it's only water, and they have a sun-drenched field to walk home through to dry off. The fact that the story ends with a fine tea at Mr. Gumpy's, and an invitation to come again for another boat ride (see, it really is OK), makes the ending that much sweeter!
And, finally, Underwater Counting Even Numbers by Jerry Pallotta is illustrated by David Biedrzycki with bright, nearly-photographically realistic sea creatures. This book was a draw because of Madeline's love for all things oceanic, but every page-turn elicited an excited exclamation; "Wow! Ooooh!! Look at THAT Mama!!!" And some shhhushing from me (only because the first read was at the library). The illustrations were done in Adobe Photoshop, according to the book, and really are gorgeous. We learned many new types of fish, including the Squirrel Fish (Mads' favorite) from this story.