Stunning Picture Books

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The Garden of Abdul Gasazi | Chris van Allsburg

Summary: When the dog he is caring for runs away from Alan into the forbidden garden of a retired dog-hating magician, a spell seems to be cast over the contrary dog.

Recommendation: I forget to read the words, I’m so captivated by the art! See more of van Allsburg’s works including Jumanji, Zathura, and the Polar Express.

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The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery | Graeme Base

Summary: An elephant’s eleventh birthday party is marked by eleven games preceding the banquet to be eaten at the eleventh hour; but when the time to eat arrives, the birthday feast has disappeared. The reader is invited to guess the thief.

Recommendation: Remember that not every puzzle must be solved to get to the right answer – if a young reader is upset that they can’t work out every challenge, sooth them into knowing that the purpose of each puzzle is to create fun, not frustration. I could, decades later, start at the beginning and enjoy the art and descriptions before ever looking at the puzzles

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Flotsam | David Wiesner

Summary: When a young boy discovers a camera on the beach and develops the film, he finds with his microscope many layers of pictures within the photographs.

Recommendation: There is a sense of movement and urgency to portions of this wordless tale. Sometimes things slow down for closer inspection and you can lose yourself in the details.

About the author

Smithton Public Library

The Smithton Public Library District is located in southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO. The library serves nearly 5,000 residents. We hope you visit us soon!