Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Expert Recommendations for Family Literacy Week: Author/Illustrator Geneviève Côté

Geneviève Côté has illustrated books for children of all ages, working with a variety of talented authors, like Janet Wong, Gilles Tibo or Susin Nielsen-Fernlund. Her own picture books include Me and You (Kids Can Press 2009), What Elephant? (Kids Can Press 2006) and With you always, Little Monday (Harcourt 2007). Her editorial art has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, l’Actualite and other publications.
 She has won several honours, including the Elisabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award in 2005 and the General Governor’s Award for Illustration in 2007. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.

And she was kind enough to share recommendations for the following books:

1) The True Story of The Three Little Pigs! as told to Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith: Outrageous, funny to read aloud and to play-act

2) Penny Lee and her TV by Glenn Mc Coy: Funny enough to wean small kids from TV (at least for a while)

3) The Wishing of Biddy Malone by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Christopher Denise: A tale, rather classic in form, about learning the power of working for what you wish for (thanks to something akin to placebo magic), and therefore being actually happy when you do get what you wish for.

4) The Tree of Life by Peter Sis: A picture book biography of Darwin -who would have thought he would still be a controversial figure 125 years after his death?

5) Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans: Out of nostalgia, mostly, but hey, it worked for me, for my sisters, my niece, and her daughter!

6) Bonjour Madame la Mort by Pascal Teulade, illustrated by Jean-Charles Sarrazin: This one in French. Hotly recommended most of all for any kid mourning a grandparent, but probably many other kids as well. Death here wears a flannelette nightdress, plays cards with the old lady she's come to claim, and takes silly photographs. Cartoon-like illustrations fit the text - a perfect mixture of tender, sensitive and surprisingly funny. I'd be real interested to know what you think about this one, Kerry! I heard it caused a bit of a stir when it was published, but personally I find it very appropriate.