Writer and illustrator Lizi Boyd delivers a fun concept book in Big Bear Little Chair (2015). High contrast illustrations done in gouache create bold contrasts between two objects on each two-page spread including a big bear, little bear, penguin, owl, zebra, and chairs of varying sizes.
Boyd uses gouache in black, white, and grey along with hints of red to keep the artwork simple and sharp. The books unusual trim size make it tall and narrow which further underscores the size contrasts in each spread and also helps draw the reader’s attention across each spread.
After going through various big and little contrasts (big bear, little chair/big owl, little branch/big meadow, little salamander, etc.) Boyd adds tiny items to the second half of the book to bring another dimension to this sleek picture book.
Big Bear Little Chair is part concept book and part hidden object with various items to locate on every page and something new to find on subsequent reads. An ideal choice for a younger story time set or a concept themed program.
Possible Pairings: Orange Bear Apple Pear by Emily Gravett, Cockatoo, Too by Bethanie Deeney Murguia, Bears on Chairs by Shirley Parenteau and David L. Walker
All manner of marvelous things happen when two cockatoos become friends in Cockatoo, Too (2016) by Bethanie Deeney Murguia.
Cockatoo, Too starts with one lone cockatoo against a backdrop of colorful jungle plants. When one cockatoo becomes two and then four, all manner of fun ensues complete with tutus. But when tutued toucans begin to can-can, will the cockatoos be able to keep up?
It turns out the answer is yes as Cockatoo, Too ends with a raucous bird-filled dance party (with owls too!) that proves to be too much for one dazed baby bird.
Cockatoo, Too is a delightful bit of wordplay throughout. The rhythmic repetition of the text makes this an ideal read-aloud. The picture book uses a handful of words to deliver a tongue-twistingly funny story with a cast of characters readers won’t soon forget.
Murguia’s illustrations use varied shades of green for leaves and colorful tropical flowers to sketch out a jungle setting for this deceptively simple tale. Cartoonish charm only makes these talented birds more appealing.
With funny details on every page (tutued toucans, anyone?) and a text that rolls trippingly off the tongue, Cockatoo, Too is an absolute joy to read-a-loud or to read one-on-one. A must read.
Possible Pairings: Big Bear Little Chair by Lizi Boyd, Orange Bear Apple Pear by Emily Gravett, Bears on Chairs by Shirley Parenteau and David L. Walker
*An advance copy of this picture book was acquired from the publisher for review consideration*