When you hear “picture books,” you probably think of books for little kids. But between a new crop of illustrated books that are works of art and the old classics that you never outgrow, you would be wrong. Here’s a list of books with pictures that even I’m not too old to love.
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
This book is simply a work of art. Sepia-toned, wordless illustrations take you on a staggeringly beautiful journey.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil by Wiley Miller
Most times when you see a book with a name that you recognize from the funny pages of your local newspaper, the book is just a collection of unconnected comic strips. This isn’t the case with The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil. This serial from Miller’s strip “Non Sequitur” is a smart and funny story.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
This book is part novel and part silent movie. Sections of traditional text flow seamlessly into and out of sections of black and white, full-page illustrations with absolutely no text.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, illus. by Ron Barrett
Funny and whimsical, you can never outgrow a classic like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg
If there were just a few more letters in the alphabet, this would make a beautiful coffee-table book. Sinister things are at work in Van Allsburg’s drawings, as the letters are offed one by one, in perfect murder-mystery fashion.
What do you think? What are some of your favorite so-called “picture books?”
— Carly H., STACKS Staffer