January 7, 2013

Book of the Month, Book Wisdom, January 7, 2013 - ALA 2012 Notable Picture Book, E.B. White Read-Aloud Picture Book Honor Award

OH,NO! by C. Fleming & E. Rohmann
     When it comes to picture books, award winning author, Candace Fleming and Caldecott medalist, Eric Rohmann are no strangers.  A few years back, I was incredibly lucky to attend The Highlights Foundation, Chautauqua Workshop in New York where Candace mentored me, and I attended multiple workshops with both her and Eric.  The workshop that comes to mind was a picture book workshop where this duo of spouses  presented together, bringing the author and illustrator points of view.
     Looking back over my notes, what jumps out are the words "page turns".  Successful picture books are about page turns created by raising the emotional level of the scene, using a funny moment, changing the scene, adding to what the character wants or needs.  The most important and last page turn ends with an  "Ah Ha" moment, or a twist, something satisfying, or a surprise.  I thought it would be the opportune time to look at the page turns in their recent book, OH, NO! by Random House Publishing.

    OH, NO! is a 32 page picture book for ages 3 - 7. A fast paced story that builds suspense and uses words that are fun to say that children and the reader will enjoy, this picture book has the feel of an upgraded, traditional folk tale or a Rudyard Kippling, Just So Story.  Set in the jungle, OH, NO! takes the reader on a page turning, wild ride that ends with a twist and satisfying moment.  In this book, Candace and Eric bring to life what they teach to other writers and illustrators.

The combination of Candace's popping text with Eric's dynamic illustration bring together the strengths of author and illustrator in a finely balanced act. Age appropriate, OH,NO! shares the message of "working together in community" at a time we most need. It is a very subtle, as it should be. The role of the tiger emerges slowly and moves the book along with glimpses of his presence. The ending is very satisfying.  Picture books are an art form.  OH,NO!, a very strong contender for numerous awards will sure to be in the front of the pack.

I give this book 5 apples.  It is an outstanding example of children's writing and illustration that both the child and the reader will enjoy, time and time again. It will appeal to both boys and girls and make a great addition to a child's book shelf, library or classroom.

The themes in this book are community, helping others, friendship, perseverance, and walking away from trouble

If you would like more information about Candace Fleming and the books she writes, you can visit her author website at: Candace's website.  You can also learn about Eric Rohmann and his art at: Eric's website.

You can find or order OH,NO! at your independent book store, Grand Valley Books is our local store in Grand Junction.  It is also available at Barnes and Noble and online at Amazon.

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