Book Bomb! Picture Books for Grown Ups

You'd be surprised (unless you’re a picture book connoisseur) how much depth picture books can convey, even with a minimal word count.  Here are a few of my current favorites that thoughtful young readers (and young-hearted adults) might enjoy. 

Grandpa GreenGrandpa Green, by Lane Smith, is a lovely narrative by a boy describing his grandpa’s life, from birth onwards.  What’s endearing and quirky is that these life events are illustrated in the form of topiaries (trees trimmed to form recognizable shapes), culminating in a subtle yet extremely heartache-worthy explanation of why this unusual form of expression was chosen. 

Duck, Death and the Tulip
Duck, Death and theTulip, by Wolf Erlbruch, is a quiet whimsical book that some may find a teeny bit morbid but is actually quite sweet (in a Tim Burton-esque way), thoughtful, and sad (in a bittersweet way).  Take from it what you will; I saw it as a gentle way of introducing the undeniable fact of that final goodbye. 

The Man in the Moon (The Guardians of Childhood) The Man in the Moon, by William Joyce, is an introduction to the world of Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood.  It tells, with beautiful and dreamy illustration, how the Moon first arrived in our skies on golden butterfly-wing sails, and why MiM (the Man in the Moon) first took up the fight to protect the innocence and dreams of children, later recruiting four others (a fairy, a rabbit, a toymaker, and a sand sculptor) who you may recognize but will be surprised to learn their true story.

And check out Joyce’s Academy Award-winning short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore¸ to be released in picture book format this summer.  Completely without dialogue and yet still filled to the brim with emotion and joy and, of course, books
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

(click to visit the official website)
Other notable picture books with depth: 

Where the Wild Things Are by the ineffable Maurice Sendak

Piggybook by Anthony Browne, known for his adorable simian characters. 

The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan (also made into an Academy Award-winning short film). 

How To Live Forever by the wonderfully bizarre Colin Thompson.

Click on any of the titles or book covers listed to visit the OC Public Libraries website and reserve a copy today!

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