Funke, Cornelia. Pirate Girl. Illustrated. Kersten Meyer. UK: The Chicken House, 2003, Print.
The picture book, Pirate Girl, conveys the message that children should be both witty and courageous in the face of challenges. A young girl named Molly was captured by a brutish clan of pirates who had no good intentions. They gave her awful tasks such as peeling potatoes and cleaning the deck, however this did not make her submissive. She knew that she would get out of the awful situation, and eventually did due to her witty idea of leaving messages in bottles in the ocean. A Pirate by the name of Barbara Bertha, who happened to be her mother, came to the rescue because she found these notes. All of the evil pirates were struck with fear and Molly was able to return to her simple days of floating on the ocean. The illustrations definitely enhanced the story. The use of color helped distinguish from the “good and bad” characters. Those who were depicted in a positive light tended to wear brighter clothing, while the others were drab and grim. The use of blank space in a lot of the scenes also gives the feeling that very few travel the ocean waters.
Grey, Mini. The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon. NYC: Alfred A. Knopfe, 2006, Print.
The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon is a story that highlights the reality of how fame and fortune tend to taint positive experiences; it also emphasizes the idea of learning from mistakes. The Dish and the Spoon are filled with love, friendship, and adventure. They set off and have the time of their life until money became the focus, as time goes on they lose money and rely upon desperate measures. Eventually the two were forced to go separate ways due to a crime they committed. Twenty-five years later they have both learned from their mistakes and are reunited and decide to pursue more adventures. The illustration did a fantastic job at depicting the “old school” setting by having more antiquated coloring. The illustrator also used every inch of the book for illustrations; this supports idea that the characters were full of life and experiences.
Patricelli, Leslie. Higher! Higher! Somerville: Candlewick Press, 2009, Print.
Higher! Higher! is a story of a little girl who is accompanied by her dad to a swing. She get’s on and continually demands “Higher! higher!” in efforts to get her dad to push her higher in the air. Eventually she sees things from new perspectives the higher she goes. She comes back down to ground level after her swing and asks her dad to do it again. The cartoon-like illustrations compliment the upbeat and carefree story.
McCarty, Peter. Henry in Love. NYC: Harper Collins, 2010, Print.
Henry in Love, is a simple love story that displays how simple kind gestures are meaningful and effective. Henry is a young boy who fell for a girl named Chloe. Chloe is seemingly and expert in cartwheels and Henry simply gushes over her. Fate brought them closer together one day at school when his teacher assigned them to sit next to one another. During snack time Henry made a bold move and gave Chloe his precious blueberry muffin, which he only did because he loved her. The story line is simple, which is reflected in the somewhat abstract illustrations. The colors tend to enhance the positive tone of the story and the use of space makes it so the reader is solely focused on the main characters.
Frazee, Marla and Mary Lyn Ray. Stars. NYC: Beach Lane Books, 2011, Print.
Stars tells a message that stars are everywhere, come in multiple forms, and represent a multitude of things. Children can cut out a star and keep it in their pocket, hand one to a friend, look at it when they’re feeling down, or look at them twinkling in the sky. The diversity of children used in this book helps emphasize the notion that stars are everywhere and take different forms. The placement of text in this book also helps keep it dynamic and creates a flow.