Wow, the month is halfway gone - it's Day 15 of Picture Book Month, if you can believe it! We've had such a great time sharing books with all of you. It's been the perfect excuse for us to bring home stacks and stacks of picture books from the library (not that we really need another reason. . . ). And remember, we'd LOVE to hear what your favorite picture books are - connect with us by leaving a comment here, or visiting us on Facebook or Twitter to share!
Tonight is a two-fer, because you can't really read one of these books without the other. I'm speaking of the phenomal picture books by Deborah Underwood, The Quiet Book and The Loud Book, both illustrated by Renata Liwska. If you haven't seen these books, I highly recommend that you get your hands on both at one time. It's so much fun to compare the situations that the adorably kid-like woodland creatures get themselves into. This is how you teach opposites, with books that go beyond "up" on one page and "down" on another, and best of all don't take themselves too seriously!
Somehow "quiet" and "loud" never get a fair shake in that sort of book, but here both extremes are given their own space to be just what they are. I love that Underwood has so many ways to illustrate each state of being. She really goes far beyond the basics to help kids understand not only what is loud, but why it might be that way. For that reason, I recommend these titles for preschoolers rather than toddlers. Underwood's complex scenarios might be beyond the scope for littler ones, who aren't likely to understand "spilling your marbles in the library loud", whereas an older child will identify all too well. Really many of the jokes are ones that parents appreciate best (how about "too many bubbles quiet", featuring a bewildered bunny in an overflowing tub).
With Sprout we have fun looking at the pages and guessing why the character might be quiet or loud, as the case may be. Liwska's illustrations just tickle him, mainly because she captures the expressiveness of the characters so convincingly. And really, in these two books, there is the perfect marriage of text and illustrations - both are strong, but together, the artforms make for a pretty wonderful picture book experience.
I just asked Sprout which of these books he likes better. His response? " The Quiet Book for school, 'cause they want you to be quiet there. And The Loud Book at home, 'cause here it's great to be loud!"
The Quiet Book and The Loud Book by Deborah Underwood, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children