These two titles are paired together for me because while they differ in look and feel, the rich, textural artwork of these picture books deal with water and the fluid expression thereof. Also, there's an abundance of Alison!
Book: Me and My Mom!
Author: Alison Ritchie
Illustrator: Alison Edgson
This book was recommended to me by one of the very helpful people at Mrs. Figs' Bookworm. It instantly appealed to me because of the art: very sweet, textural, and fluffy! Every page makes you wish you were there, running your hands in the soft fur of these two bears. The art is both ethereal and luminous, with a graceful dance across the pages, just as the lyrical words flow across the tongue. The mother bear glides gracefully through the water in my favorite spread, while the little bear follows with an adorable awkwardness. This is definitely a good choice for a slightly belated Mother's Day book.
Book: So Many Days
Author: Alison McGhee
Illustrator: Taeeun Yoo
The moment I saw this book, I loved it. From the typography to the imagery to the story, this hits all the right notes for me. Graphic textures, white space, a cute puppy sidekick, exploratory adventures. It's ALL good. The perfect pages do not come in the form of a double page spread this time, but two images that mirror each other both in their similarities--boat, water, two characters--and differences: light vs dark, struggle vs solution, looking back vs looking forward. These two pages excel at the key elements of a good picture book: pacing and emotional connection.
Taeeun's artwork is breathtaking throughout the entire book both for it's detail and it's restraint. The nice copyright/colophon page at the end of the book reveals the typeface (Century Gothic) as well as the art technique: linocuts manipulated digitally. Yet again, I have a strong desire to take a print-making class.