Thursday, September 8, 2016

With or without pictures?

I didn't like picture books as a kid. Actually, as a very small child I didn't even like books, but then I learned to read. After that I loved anything with words - even bus tickets. But I couldn't fathom why people would fill that precious paper space in a story with pictures instead. Which is crazy since I loved to draw and paint.

One day I graduated from picture books to chapter books. Some of the chapter books had pages of pictures as well, which annoyed me. But mostly they just had letters that seemed too big. Why couldn't I read books with tiny letters and more words, like my granddad did.

Then Granddad stopped being able to go to the library. I took his card and borrowed his books for him. In return I got to read them. Hence my love for Lord Peter Wimsey and James Bond.

And then I grew up, had kids, and learned to love picture books. (And I still love to draw and "paint" on the computer.) So, which did you prefer, books with or without pictures? And did your preference change when you grew up?

Here are some book reviews of childrens books, with and without pictures. Enjoy (with or without coffee!).

I've read a ton of Oliver and Jumpy stories now. I'm almost jealous of the author - wouldn't it be cool if I could release so many books,but then I'd never have time to write novels and book reviews, or draw and paint. Stories 46-48, 49-51 and 52-54 take small readers from stories which are mostly picture to the occasional page of almost only words, via different fonts and different artistic styles, through cat-and-kangaroo-centered fantasies both other-worldly and everyday. Enjoy with lively easy-drinking two-star coffee.

For slightly older children, the Delilah Dusticle series continues that gentle touch of fantasy in Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest, taking its intrepid protagonists to India, and keeping clear the message of doing no harm. Magic, fun, and with pleasing touches of genuine thought and consideration for others, it's a great addition to a fun series. Enjoy with some well-balanced three-star coffee.

Another new middle-grade series is the Kare Kids adventures by Charles A. Salter. Loosely connected stories, told in a very traditional way with traditional values and set in an increasingly modern world, these start with The Secret of Bald Rock Island, and a lilting voice of mystery. Charlotte and the Mysterious Vanishing Place introduces the daughter of the first protagonist, with a nice sense of reminding kids that their parents were once children. The adventure's fun too - and the dog! Then there's How Three Brothers Saved The Navy - a thoroughly up-to-date tale of a naval officer's sons playing games that become all too real. There are some pictures - not too many; I might even say just right - plus great kids and wise lessons in these tales, best enjoyed with some more of that well-balanced three-star coffee.




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