|"November Volcano" illustrated by Christoph Niemann, 2016|
Fall is late this year in the mid-Atlantic--and in the last weeks we've had two days in the high 70's and two above 80*! It's been hard to settle into the season, but fortunately Halloween was chilly--and yet not as leafy-scuffly-rustly as it usually is. Our leaves fall late compared to New England--not until the end of October--and this year it's only in the last couple of days that color change has really been noticeable.
But when it starts, it's thrilling! A good gust and the trees seem to be spouting hot lava, red and glowing yellow. And that's even before they're raked into a mountain and exploded by a daring leap into its crater! A poetic mom and her 7-year-old son might just have to write about it...and that's how the wee poem in One Minute till Bedtime came to be.
One of my favorite things about this gorgeous book (see my earlier rhapsodizing here) is that in most cases each poem, even the briefest, has been given its own page and often its own illustration. The generous amount of white space acts as a two-dimensional pedestal, elevating each poem to its highest effect, like a gem on velvet under glass. And yet the "glass" is penetrable--small hands can reach right into each illustration to grab the energy. Don't you want to jump in there too?!
Thanks once again to Kenn Nesbitt, Christoph Niemann, and to every one of the other poets whose work graces this book--and special kudos to Phil Caminiti, Nicole Brown and David Caplan, the designers and art director listed in the front matter. The difference a great book designer can make--especially in children's books--is beyond quantification.
Laura has the round-up today at Writing the World for Kids--go jump in, throw leaves, explode!