Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What Are You Reading?

I really wanted to share a picture book that I bought, but I don't know enough about children's books for a long review. So, I'm also asking you what you're reading today as well.

I saw Matthew Cordell's picture book, Wolf in the Snow, at work. There are very few words in this ink-and-watercolor illustrated book. But, oh, the heart in it!






Cordell tells and illustrates the story of a little girl on the plains somewhere. While the little girl isn't realistically drawn, she is so wrapped up in winter clothes that you can't see her features anyways. But, her red parka shows up beautifully against the fields, and then the snow. She leaves school in a snowstorm, and those are stunning, cold pictures of her as she crosses the fields. Coming from the opposite direction is a pack of wolves, beautifully alive. The pup of the pack falls behind in the snow, and Cordell shows the little girl in a round snowball illustration heading one way, and the little pup in a round snowball coming toward her. We hear her huffing, and him whining. She rescues him, fights off other animals, and has the courage to head across a solid white field in the direction of a wolf's howl. In one illustration, we see the wide-eyed face as she holds the little wolf. In the other, we see the wide-eyed mother wolf. After the little girl turns the pup over to the mother, she continues trying to reach home, but stumbles and falls in the snow. She treks on, toward the barking of her own dog, but stumbles again, falls and curls in to a ball. The wolves have followed her, and the pup licks the freezing child as the other wolves gather around and howl. Led by the howling, the little girl's mother and dog show up to rescue her. The final picture resembles the opening illustration. The little girl and her family is home in a cabin, with a fire, and a carving of a howling wolf on the mantelpiece.

There are no words in this book, other than huffing, howling, and barking. But, the snow, the blizzard, the layout, and the story have so much heart. Cordell tells an entire story of courage and caring with those few words and gorgeous illustrations. I buy very few children's books. But, this one moves me every time I read it.

So, I've read a picture book three times, marveling at the artwork and story. What are you reading? I'd love to know.

17 comments:

Page said...

I'm reading Umberto Eco's Prague Cemetery and Dream of Reason by Anthony Gottlieb

Grace Koshida said...

I am reading a book you highlighted last year, Lesa. STRANGE THINGS DONE by Elle Wild is an excellent debut novel by a Canadian author. The setting is unique: the remote town of Dawson City in the Yukon, and the protagonist is a newspaper reporter who is seeking a new beginning after a scandal torpedoed her career in Vancouver.

Kay said...

I love the look of that picture book. Pretty artwork. I'm reading THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE and listening to Peter Swanson's new book, HER EVERY FEAR. Both good.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I have two library books borrowed on the Kindle but haven't started either of them. Instead I'm trying to read (yours was one of several recommendations) Jodi Taylor's JUST ONE DAMN THING AFTER ANOTHER before I have to return it, while trying to start getting ready for the road trip. Very good so far.

The others are Jennifer Egan's collection, EMERALD CITY, and Bill Loehfelm's mystery set in New Orleans, THE DEVIL IN HER WAY.

I did read Lawrence Block's SINNER MAN and John Scalzi's collection, MINIATURES.

Lesa said...

Thank you for telling me what you're reading.

Jeff, How was Scalzi's Miniatures?

Bill Crider said...

Will be picking up Jodi Taylor's JUST ONE DAMN THING AFTER ANOTHER at the library today. Maybe I'll get started on it, maybe not.

Lesa said...

Oh, Bill. It's "Just one damn thing after another", isn't it?

Sharon said...

June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. I just finished Love, Alice by Barbara Davis. It was good but it could have been so much better.

Charlotte said...

I am reading the second book by Angela Marsons, Lost Girls. I would not recommend it to anyone. Entirely to many violent things written. I have to skip many paragraphs because I do not like was is written there. I keep reading the book because I would like to know how the bad guys get caught. It is not a cozy book. Looking forward to the ending so I can start a refreshing new book.

Glen Davis said...

I'm reading Devil in the White City, a true crime book about the Chicago World's Fair and serial killer H.H. Holmes.

Lesa said...

Interesting comment, Sharon, that it could have been better.

I'm sorry, Charlotte. I'd just skip to the end to see what happens.

So many people consider that their favorite of Larson's books, Glen.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I liked the Scalzi a lot. Fun, short stories.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Devil in the White City is a classic.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm reading Deep Work by Cal Newport, a nonfiction about focus, concentration, and doing our best at whatever work we do.

Kaye Barley said...

This is lovely! I just finished reading Zadie Smith's "On Beauty." I'm now getting ready to start Glenda Burgess' "Exposures"

Lesa said...

Good to know, Jeff. I like Scalzi's humor.

Lesa said...

Thanks for sharing, everyone! I love to see what you're reading.