Illustrations Spotlight: Miracle on 133rd Street, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

In honor of the First Day of Winter~ Featuring this vibrant, holiday children’s book in the  Illustrations Spotlight Collection:

Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

You may recognize this book from being featured in this week’s Local Library Finds Holiday Edition post~ and while I try not to recycle books, and instead bring new content and share a variety of treasures, flipping through this gorgeous tale, my eyes soaked in the bright, bold colors, and the exuberant style~ I just had to photograph almost every breath-taking page!

I couldn’t help but want to share these illustrations with all of you~ and I couldn’t keep from imagining my own future little one flipping through the colorful pages, eyes lighting up with wonder and excitement over the clashing colors and holiday cheer. One tradition I want to create is  *Christmas Eve Story time* Each Christmas Eve night, our little one(s) will get to open one special gift ~ a new children’s book! The night will end with *reading*~ with a sweet family story time ~ cuddled under Christmas blankets by the fireplace or already tucked in cozy in bed, with our holiday pjs on and cheeks blushing with excitement for tomorrow morning. We will read the new book, spending this special night huddled together, sharing a storybook to add to our own growing *home library collection.* This is definitely an *illustrations favorite* that will be making its way on our bookshelves! Check it out below for a sneak peak to whet your own appetite for a visual holiday feast!

About the Illustrator: I just discovered Marjorie A. Priceman this weekend through this book, and she is already one of my favorites! What treasures we can find at the library! I am definitely going to be looking up her many other books~ and you should too!

Born in 1958,Marjorie A. Priceman is an American illustrator of over 30 acclaimed children’s books. She lives in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania. Her style is unique for its energetic and whimsical vibes. Swirling colors leap off the page, creating rollicking romps of joy and vibrance. While she often collaborates with other children’s book authors, matching their text with her colorful illustrations, she also writes and illustrates her own books.

She has received Caldecott Honors for her illustrations in Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Lloyd Moss, and Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the Frist Hot-Air Balloon Ride, which she also wrote herself. Overall, her illustrations are playful, clever, and full of rainbows of color, adding new dimensions and elements to each story they help to tell.

*~In this featured book, Miracle on 133rd Street, Christmas Eve got just a bit more magical~*

One of my favorite pages is this vertical spread. I love the creator’s decision to make use of the length of the page, emphasizing the height of the building, and turning the book so that the bustling complex could fill the entire page with a shock of bright red. A cast of colorful characters peek through the windows, and patterned draperies line the windowsills, bringing a burst of liveliness to a snowy, winter day.

I also adore the full page spreads on each page~ every inch and corner of the page is filled in with artwork, creating a scene that envelops there reader into the storybook world. Notice on this spread the thin tendrils of swirling wind, and the myriads of rainbow buildings. I can close my eyes and just imagine taking a winter stroll along this urban street side~ with the little puff ball snowflakes hitting my cheeks, and small children running by, giggling mischievously as they chuck snowballs at each other.

Marjorie A. Priceman’s style makes magic on the pages! Check out the swirls in the sky, a milky way of stars with waves of violet and sapphire. The people practically prance through the air, while the moon hangs low above them, a sideways crescent, lighting up the sky with a burst of white, glittering light. I could continue on and on about each and every page~ but I’ll save some of the magic for you to discover for yourself! Check out a couple more sneak peeks below with these two fun pages:

Hopefully, you are as convinced as I am that Marjorie Priceman is an illustrator to look out for! For a copy of this beautiful book: Check your local bookstore or ask your local librarian to help you find a copy. Some other fabulous finds of hers to keep an eye out for: Emeline at the Circus, Friend or Frog, and Princess Picky. If you check out these books, or find any other gems, please comment and share on your own adventures into Marjorie Priceman’s world of colorful wonder!

*In the meantime, checkout out a read aloud of one of my current holiday favorites here. *

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Illustrations Spotlight: Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me by Eric Carle

Featuring the first book in the Illustrations Spotlight Collection:

Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me by Eric Carle

About the Illustrator: Eric Carle is one of my favorite illustrators: I love the textures of colors you can see in his broad paintbrush strokes. Each streak of his brush is a kaleidoscope of shades of color and pattern. His art is easily recognizable with his collage-style of layered, painted, paper-cutouts coming to gather to form colorful and cheerful illustrations.

Born in New York in 1929, Eric Carle moved to Germany when he was six years old. There, he grew up, and graduated from a prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Künste, before returning to New York to become a graphic designer for The New York Time. His foray into children’s literature began with his collaboration with author Bill Martin Jr., on the famous book  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Since then, he has illustrated over 70 books, most of which he also wrote.

You may be familiar with his more well-known books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug. 

In this featured book, Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, the moon takes center stage.

Book Synopsis: Monica, the daughter, looks longingly out her window at the glowing moon in the night sky, and wishes that she could play with the moon. Her father, wanting happiness for his daughter, climbs his ladder up to the full moon to implore her to come down and play. The full moon tells him to wait until she is smaller, a mere sliver, and then she will be small enough to play with his daughter. And thus begins the progression of the full moon into its crescent form.

What’s exciting about Eric Carle’s illustrations is that he often includes an added dimension to his pictures, making his books interactive and giving them a toy-like, playful quality. For example, in this book, fold out flaps help exaggerate story elements and increase children’s understanding and engagement with the story.

One fun flap is the horizontal ladder flap- emphasizing for the reader how long Papa’s ladder needed to be in order to reach the moon.

There are also flaps folding up, emphasizing length as well as helping the child imagine the great heights of climbing up into the sky.

My favorite illustration element is the giant, full-moon fold out. The page folds out like a blossoming accordion flower, the folds peeling out from the middle to reveal the gorgeous glowing moon at the center. The large portrayal exaggerates the grandness and massive size of a full moon, a moon too large for a young girl to play with.

Eric Carle’s comprehensive knowledge and love for nature shine through in his illustrations and books.  His books often offer the reader an opportunity to learn something new about nature and how the world around them works. In this book, children learn about the phases of the moon .  

Eric Carle picks up on children’s inquisitiveness and strokes their curiosity through his entertaining and beautiful books. From the words of Eric Carle himself:  “I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.”

And I believe he has been quite successful in doing so! For a copy of this beautiful book: Check your local bookstore or ask your local librarian to help you find a copy. Also, please comment and share on your own delve into Eric Carle’s magical realms of learning, color, and fun!

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Coming Saturday!

Illustrations Spotlight

Check Back in This Saturday, August 26th, for the first Illustrations Spotlight Post!

 As an artist, naturally I’m drawn to the brilliant illustrations of books. This collection will focus on recommendations of books with illustrations that will catch your child’s eye and charm their imagination!