Books That Make You Think


View the Complete List of Best of Children's 2010 - Books That Make You Think


Poetry Puzzle: Marilyn Singer

by Jenny Brown on November 15, 2010 | Children's

Fairy tales are about reversals of fortune. A cinder-covered girl who cleans the hearth dons a gown and wins the prince. A pair of poor children goes into a forest and emerges with riches. But what about a poem that tells the points of view of both Sleeping Beauty and the “Wide-Awake Prince” who releases her from her spell? That’s what Marilyn Singer does with the poems in Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, illustrated by Josée Masse.

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2010 Children's Best: Mirror, by Jeannie Baker

by Karen Calabria on November 15, 2010 | Children's

British-born, Sydney-based collage artist and children’s author Jeannie Baker returns this fall with one of her most moving picture books to date. A day in the life of two families—one urban Australian, the other Moroccan villager—unfolds simultaneously in a uniquely designed pictorial brought to life by Baker’s vivid and intricate imagery and detail. Inspired by a holiday she took seven years ago in southern Morocco, the artist returned two years later to immerse herself in remote village life in the country’s storied Valley of the Roses. “I loved the differences I found between the Berber culture and mine,” says Baker. “What I see is the sheer richness of different nationalities and cultures, a richness that will no doubt diminish as our Western culture spreads. We really need to celebrate these differences and diversities while we can.”

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2010 Children's Best: Art & Max, by David Wiesner

by Jenny Brown on November 15, 2010 | Children's
Max, a garden-variety lizard, asks Art, a horned lizard, what he should paint. Art tells Max that he may paint him (Art), never dreaming that Max would take a brush to Art’s own scaly skin! Art busts out of Max’s paint and there, beneath, are…pastels. Are there more layers to Art? All the previous books by the three-time Caldecott Medalist were rendered in watercolor, and David Wiesner wanted to do something different. “I thought about what other media I could use—acrylics, pastel, ink line,” he says. “Suddenly, I saw a narrative involving all those media in which one character is deconstructed. It’s the story of the creative process.”

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