Illustrated Books: “The Book with No Pictures,” “Hello Lighthouse,” and “Spot & Dot”

I read these three picture books for the OWLs readathon back in April. It had been a while since I’d read a picture book and since I had one out from the library and many unread on my bookshelves, I decided to give in and read some of my favorite types of books.

These three are very different from each other. Spot & Dot is a wordless picture book and the second in a series, while The Book With No Pictures has nothing but words. However, Hello Lighthouse is like your typical picture book that uses both pictures and words to tell the story.


The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Genre:

Children Humor

Pubbed:

2014

Goodreads summary:

At once disarmingly simple and ingeniously imaginative, The Book With No Pictures inspires laughter every time it is opened, creating a warm and joyous experience to share — and introducing young children to the powerful idea that the written word can be an unending source of mischief and delight. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Of the three, The Book with No Pictures is my absolute favorite. Oh my gosh! It’s charming, it’s simple, it’s funny. It was a delight to read and is even more fun when read aloud. I didn’t have anyone to read aloud to, so I read aloud to myself. 😥

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“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy (illus.)

A beautifully illustrated children’s book about friendship.

Genre:

Children’s…. Self-Help?

Pubbed:

October 2019

Goodreads summary:

Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together.

Radiant with Mackesy’s warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including “Help,” which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come. (Goodreads)

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“The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World” by Clive Gifford, illus. Marc-Étienne Peintre

The Colors of History is one of the best picture books I read in 2019. It is also the least popular book I read that year, so I hope this review will get more people interested in it to share with kids.

As the title says, this is a nonfiction book all about colors and their impact and use throughout history.

Genre:

Children’s Nonfiction — Art; History

Pubbed:

2018

Goodreads summary:

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which color is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future?

Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colors, and the roles they’ve played throughout history. From black to white, and all the colors in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each color group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the ‘colorful’ history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthrall budding artists and historians alike. (Goodreads)

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BBC #7: Dazzling 2019 Book Covers

I missed out on doing this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, but the topic so appealed to me that I decided to do a BBC post instead.

BBC is a meme I created to feature beautiful book covers. Since January is often spent reflecting on the previous year, I’ve decided to make this BBC post about 2019 book covers. The following are all great cover designs of books that were published in 2019; but the first three are my favorites.

Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

cover design by Grace Han

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BBC #6: Book Spines

It’s been a while since I’ve done a BBC post (despite my intention to publish at least one of these per month). BBC is a meme I created to feature beautiful book covers. However, this time I’ll feature eye-catching book spines. After all, when you purchase the book and place it on your shelf, it’s the spine you’ll most often see.

I love beautifully designed book covers, but I also like striking spines. Sometimes it’s the spine instead of the cover that first beckons me, making me pick up the book, read what it’s about, and ultimately buy it. So this post will be all about the spines that call to me from the shelves.

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
cover design by Ben Denzer

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“The Secret Lives of Color” by Kassia St. Clair

This is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read this year. I learned much from it, and I’m glad I own a copy. Not only is it a great read that presents facts about a common topic in an engaging way, but I also love the design and format of the book.

The edition I own is a white, naked hardback with spots of color on it. From a distance, one gets the impression that it has a dust jacket that hides a rainbow cover beneath. The cover is appealing and matches well the title — The Secret Lives of Color.

Indeed, it is as if we are being told scandalous tales about colors, in some cases. I was unaware of most of the information I learned from this book, which covers 75 colors, shades, and hues and shares fascinating stories and facts about each. The book is divided into broad color families. A section is dedicated to each — white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple, blue, green, brown, black — with chapters within each section that discuss variations of the particular color. For example, the first color discussed is white. First, we get an overview of the color as an introduction to the section, and then we begin a chapter on a variation/type of the color. The first is lead white, the second chapter is on ivory, and the third is about silver. The amount of chapter in each section varies, but the chapters are no more than three or four pages, and each page contains a simple border in the color being discussed.

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Friday Face-Off: Hair’s Gotta Be There

Friday Face-Off is a weekly meme that compares book covers to decide which is best. It was created by Books by Proxy and is now continued by Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme:

“Your hair is winter fire, January embers.”

A cover featuring hair

It was easier to think of a cover for this week’s prompt, but still I ran into a problem — I couldn’t remember the title of the book or the author or what it’s about. I only knew that it’s sci-fi and that I like the cover because of the hair on it. Luckily, I recalled that I first saw it reviewed on the Bibliosanctum. So with that clue, I was able to find Andrew Mayne’s The Naturalist.

Turns out that I was wrong about it being sci-fi (oh, memory). It’s actually a thriller about a computational biologist named Theo who gets caught up in an investigation of a bloody killing of one of his students. I’m not big on thrillers and mysteries, but the cover makes me willing to try it.

FACE OFF!
US | Brazil
Latvia | Czech

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Friday Face-Off: A Cover with ‘Curse’ in the Title

Friday Face-Off is a weekly meme that compares book covers to decide which is best. It was created by Books by Proxy and is now continued by Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme:

Unlucky for some

A cover with ‘curse’ in the title

After spending a couple minutes convinced that I don’t know any books with the word “curse” in the title despite the many fantasy and horror novels I know of or have read, I remembered my post for last week’s Top 5 Tuesday where I listed the series I’d love to complete. Lois McMaster Bujold’s World of the Five Gods was one of them.

I read The Curse of Chalion two years ago and loved it so much that I reread it by audio book about a month after completing the physical copy. It’s one of my favorite fantasy books. It’s about a veteran who returns home seeking a peaceful life but is instead thrown into the midst of political intrigue. I’ve since forgotten what drew me to this book, but I ended up liking it because of the writing and the protagonist and how gods and religion functions in the fantasy world. It was a good read.

I decided to go easy on myself for this week’s post and focus on just two covers. These are both covers for U.S. editions of the book. The first one, the one on the left, appears on my audio book but is sometimes the cover for physical editions of the novel, and the second one, on the right, is the cover of the physical edition I own.

FACE OFF!

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Friday Face-Off: Autumn Colors

Friday Face-Off is a weekly meme that compares book covers to decide which is best. It was created by Books by Proxy and is now continued by Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme:

“Warm September brings the fruit”

A cover that is seasonal for autumn/fall

This week’s theme reminds me of one of my BBC (Beautiful Book Covers) posts, where I selected a few covers that made me think of autumn. I chose from that selection for this post. I chose the book whose U.S. cover contains almost all the colors of autumn — Euphoria by Lily King.

I’ve never read Euphoria, so I have no idea what it’s about. But apparently, it’s inspired by true events and is about a woman who “changed the way we understand the world,” and there are some anthropology bits in it.

Let’s first compare the U.S. and U.K. covers.

FACE OFF!

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Friday Face-Off: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

Friday Face-Off is one of my favorite bookish memes. It focuses on book covers, more specifically different versions of a book cover, to judge which one is best. It was created by Books by Proxy and is now continued by Lynn’s Book Blog. So shout out to Lynn for continuing it! For a while now I wanted to jump back in but kept forgetting to. But this time, Friday will not pass by without me publishing a Friday Face-Off post!

This week’s theme:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud”

A cover that is predominantly yellow

My thoughts immediately went to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I saw this topic because the 20th anniversary editions were released in the house colors and although I consider myself a Ravenclaw, my favorite of the bunch was the yellow covers for Hufflepuff because the publisher used a brilliant yellow for those books. But I talk (and think) about the Harry Potter books too much, so I instead decided to feature Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings, which appears in such a yellow.

Although James is one of my favorite authors, I’ve yet to read this book (or any of his others except the one I read) and haven’t even cracked open his debut fantasy novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which I was beyond excited to see published earlier this year, smh. A Brief History of Seven Killings is a historical fiction novel about the attempted assassination of the popular Jamaican singer Bob Marley in the late 1970s. Let’s first look at the cover I have verses the one I want.

FACE OFF!

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