Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book 191: Americana Adventure

Americana Adventure, by Michael Garland, Dutton Children's Book 2008.  Preschool to Early Elementary.

The dedication pages of children's books don't usually make me cry.  This one did.  This book is a celebration of everything wonderful about the USA:  The history, the culture, the sports, the places, the sights, the food, the art, the people, and sometimes the sacrifices.  The text for each two-page spread is simple and direct, and includes a continuing puzzle in rhyme.  I don't want to diminish the writing, which is very good, but the artwork in this book (as in all Michael Garland books) is the star.

Every time I open a new Michael Garland book, I am staggered by the range of his work.  This, again, is true for all of his books, but most especially this one.  The artwork ranges from photo-realism, to exaggerated cartoons, all within the same illustration.  For a lesser skilled artist, this mixture of different genres might seem jarring.  Not so here.  Here that mixture works beautifully.  I think because of the joy and humor that marks the overall style of Michael Garland's artwork.

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