CBR15Passport, New to me author
I could say these books are connected by the fact they are books (a good reason as far as I’m concerned). Or I could say they are connected because they are picture books (better reason). Or I could say they are connected by Kathy Creamer (which is the best as they are). I didn’t know who Creamer was before these books. And between their author and illustrating, I now know they have a bit of a creativeness to them that does not allow for a “one size fits all” style.
|A Star for Mama is one of those little books you like or not. It has a lot of good things, but also a few bumps that some might not like. Ashling Kwok has a story about a curious little penguin who loves their Mama very much. In fact, so much love is there that it is to distraction! They are unable to see the dangers around them when they go off to find a gift for her. Of course, between some interesting friends and their mama, they are protected from the big bad around them. The bump is the unseen (by the little hero of the book but not by you the reader) in the form of a fox after our little chick. There is much hidden in the illustrations of Kathy Creamer, so it is just as important to read them as it is to read the text.
A Squiggly Line shows the symbolism of “getting out there and doing your best” with the idea of a little mouse and a drawing pencil. The lines the mouse creates shows that when things are in your way, go high. Or when things are tough pause and be clever. Robert Vescio shows us that imagination is a good thing and staying the course, going with the flow, and sometimes changing directions will eventually get you where you need to be. The simple illustrations of Kathy Creamer are extremely minimal, but that fits the themes and tone of the book. They are not fancy, or even overly colorful, but color does play an important part. Everything is there to let you know what is happening and there are little things to view that are both fun extras and important to what is going on the page.
Kathy Creamer shows up again, this time with Amy Calautti, in the picture book Peanut. This odd little book is about the jungle adventures of one slightly mischievous and very loud elephant named Peanut. One day Peanut wanders off and cannot find their mother. Even though the local monkey group tries to help him find his way home. In the meantime, Peanut learns that crocodiles are dangerous and not your friend! Plus, the question, Do Elephants climb trees? is answered. (Not to mention if crocodiles do, too.) The monkey family that Peanut runs into, plays an important role in the helping of our baby pachyderm. Even if they are reminiscent of one King Louie from a Disney animated movie. Only not as cute or fluffy. As are none of the characters. The artwork was a big miss for me, but some people will enjoy the abstract, cartoon realism of them.
I am not sure if Peanut or Lucky Horse Shoes is the odder of the books by Kathy Cremer and Amy Calautti. Both have that abstract, realistic, cartoon imagery to the artwork. Both have a goofy story that may or may not be something you would bet on, but they both have something for most people, which is when you have a race, you need the right shoes. This horse tail… tale, shows us that putting your best dressed foot forward does not win races. It does allow readers to see funky moves. The lesson is you might dress for success, but with the right attire in mind. (Of course, a stylish hat is always a good accessory). This story is simple, but has a lot included. The artwork is busy, but not necessarily to distraction. The humor will appeal to most ages and horse fans will find a win.Kathy Cremer