I had no idea that Helen Ward, author of two of my favorite picture books: The Tin Forest & The Dragon Machine is also an illustrator! These books, along with two others, Finding Christmas, which is a very sweet sibling story, and Little Moon Dog, are illustrated by the magnificent Wayne Anderson.
I am so happy to make this discovery, especially with Ward's newest book, Spots in a Box. Ward's illustrations are painterly and playful, thoughtful and kinetic. Added to all this are the extras added to Spots in a Box - from die cuts to foil to sparkly texture. All this for a guinea fowl who feels odd because he has no spots and tries to remedy this by sending away for some.
Ward tells the story of this bird who sends off for spots with gentle rhymes and illustrations that get increasingly kooky as more and more kinds of spots arrive by post. Some spots are too tall or too long, too sneezy and too small. My favorite are the "Inky-font dots and i-topping spots" that features the guinea fowl in a whirl of Js, question marks, quotation marks and exclamation points.
By the end of Spots in a Box, our feathered friend finds just the right dots and his flock-mates find fun ways to make use of the leftovers!
I love, love, love Spots in a Box and Helen Ward's illustration style! I can't wait to see what she does next! Until then, enjoy her other books and some illustrations from them below:
Varmints, illustrated by Marc Craste
Source: Review Copy