David Wiesner is undoubtedly the master of visual storytelling, having won the Cadecott Medal for Tuesday, The Three Pigs and Flotsam, as well as the Caldecott Honor Award for Free Fall and Sector 7. But, before we dive into the wordless works of David Wiesner, I want to introduce you to Barbara Lehman, author/illustrator of The Red Book, winner of the Caldecott Honor in 2005, as well as Museum Trip, Rainstorm, Trainstop and The Secret Box. Lehman and Wiesner both use watercolors to magnificently illustrate their books, but in very different ways. Lehman employs black outlines that give her pictures a two dimensional, almost comic book feel, making her books ideal for younger children who aren't quite ready to pore over the intricate details of Weisner's work. This isn't to say that her illustrations are simplistic. They are rich with details, crisp and colorful. And, most of all, inviting. Readers can't help but be drawn in to Lehman's books, especially The Red Book, which is about being drawn into a book, literally!
Enchanted Lion Books started a brand new series called Stories Without Words, the first four books of which are The Chicken Thief, Rooster's Revenge, Fox and Hen Together, which are created by Bèatrice Rodriguez and Ice, by the fabulous Arthur Geisert, all of which kick off this article. The fifth book in the series, Big Seed, is due early in 2012.
Eric Rohmann's Caldecott winner, My Friend Rabbit (thanks to early readers of this article for reminding me of this great book!)