Welcome to KidLit Gems!
Join Louise Aamodt and me for a coffee-style chat about favorite children’s books and the elements that make them shine.
This month’s theme: Illustrative Gem
IT’S AN ORANGE AARDVARK!
Text and Illustrations © 2014, Michael Hall
Picture Book, Fiction
Age Range: 3-7 years
Aardvarks turn orange when they’re hungry for ants, you know! ~ It’s an Orange Aardvark!
IT’S AN ORANGE AARDVARK! by Michael Hall actually got me laughing aloud. The uncluttered illustrations and the fun hole punches piqued my interest. But what really tickled me was the good, old-fashioned page turns leading to unexpected surprises, each sillier than the previous.
It’s tricky to write a cumulative pattern that doesn’t read like a tedious list of chores, but Hall’s repetition rolls right off the tongue. Gentle tension builds smoothly right up to the final page turn, keeping readers guessing. As a reread, it’s refreshingly funny even when the reader knows what’s coming. In one word: surprising.
Oh no! It’s wearing blue pajamas! ~ It’s an Orange Aardvark!
Since Michael Hall is a Minnesota talent, we might be biased, but orange aardvarks in blue pajamas are funny, I don’t care where you’re from. Hall’s New York Times bestselling creations are reminiscent of Lois Ehlert’s–flamboyant, mischievous, and colorful. This book will give you an edge when playing Eye Spy in rainbow order. Through Hall’s creative use of shapes, storyline, and mystery, readers will learn without trying. After all, who can resist discovery when it lurks behind a peephole?
Michael Hall, New York Times Best-selling Picture Book Author and Illustrator by Amy Meythaler
Book Trailer: It’s An Orange Aardvark by Michael Hall
Michael Hall’s lovely wife, Debra Kelley, agreed to take our picture with Michael after the 2015 Minnesota Book Award’s Gala, where IT’S AN ORANGE AARDVARK, was a finalist for the Award for Children’s Literature. Their gesture of patient hospitality was especially thoughtful, as they were off to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to Michael and Debra!
Watch for Kristi’s pick next!
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What children’s book is your Illustrative Gem?