Friday, March 5, 2010

Dogs on the Brain

I've been collecting picture books for years. A majority of the books I own have stories that revolve around some kind of animal since this is my most favorite subject matter! This month I'm illustrating a chapter book for Viking about a dog. A mutt really with about six or seven different breeds all mixed up in his motley pedigree. So with dogs on my brain, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite dog books that have been sitting on my bookshelves for years.

Dee Dee, Ol' Ed and Butch used to be Carey's three ordinary, lovable dogs until one day during a solar eclipse his dogs turned into three rather strange people living in his house. Written by Merrill Markoe (former writer for Late Night with David Letterman) and illustrated by Eric Brace who has illustrated many picture books, The Day My Dogs Became Guys still holds up for me even though it was first published in 1999. The stylized dogs and illustrations are hysterical.

Gina Perry's post yesterday about teeny tiny books reminded me of my copy of Babette Cole's Dogs, which is a little pop-up book that is 3-1/2 inches wide. I have this book on display on my shelf. I just love Cole's crazy, quirky style. This book was published in 1995 and although it only has five spreads, it's one of my all time favorites.

And, of course, Babette Cole did Dr. Dog, which I just could not put down when I bought my first copy. When Dr. Dog's entire human family falls sick, this pet beagle saves the day, curing them of head lice, pinworms, and even a case of too much love this stuff!

I Want a Dog is one of my latest purchases. I was immediately drawn to it because of the cover. I love the portraits of all these dogs and their cool backgrounds. An adorable story by Austrian artist and school teacher, Helga Bansch, this story has a great solution to the dilemma of wanting a dog, but living in an apartment that is too small for one.

And I'm sure most of you know about Mark Teague and his loyal and misunderstood character "Ike" LaRue. One of my all time favorite illustrators, Mark Teague is also the illustrator of How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

And finally Chester, by Ayano Imai, a young Japanese artist, is just exquisite with it's soft pallete, eye-catching compositions and attention to detail. This is a sweet story about a dog who finds that his family has forgotten him with their busy lives and sets out to find himself a new home. You can flip through the pages of this entire book on minedition. Have a great weekend everyone! Woof!


Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

oh my Deb, thanks so much for this post! I am drooling over here.... Specially with Chester!!
Ayano Iami is a new illustrator for me, the work is BREATHTAKING... I am completely in love!!

Have a great weekend yourself, woof woof!! :o)

jeannie brett said...

chester is so BEAUTIFUL. What art!

Deb said...

Thanks jeannie and Alicia. I forgot to mention that Ayano Imai studied mineral pigment painting in Japan....which is where she developed that incredible technique.

Tracy Bishop said...

Thank you for this list. I love dog books :-)
I'm a huge fan of Ayano Imai too. I love that Chester book. She also has another book called "The 108th Sheep". I heart this book also.

Another dog book that I love is "Chowder" by Peter Brown.

Deb said...

Hi Tracy,
I almost put Chowder in! It's a great book and I was lucky enough to hear Peter Brown speak at the summer SCBWI conference several years ago about how he works. His technique is very labor intensive!
I'll have to check out "The 108th Sheep." Thanks!

Gina Perry said...

Gorgeous books - I'll be adding most of these to our library bag this week since they are new to me.

Kathy Weller said...

I love Chester too!! It's a wonderful book. Will check out the others!! Thanks for sharing these.

Deb said...

Thanks Gina and Kathy...happy reading :o)

roz said...

Drool, drool, drool. I'm going to have to add these to my wish list. These look fabulous, Deb. I have been a Mark Teague fan for years but the others are new to me. Babette Cole's work looks so fun, must get them!

Deb said...

Thanks Roz! Enjoy :o)