(Written by Maria L Hughes) According to author David Salisbury, young children often love books with simple visual styles. Simple expressions allow children to project their emotions, personalities, and imaginations onto the characters of the story. Because of this, books with simple illustrations and few words are often the most popular among children. This article is a review of five well-loved, beautifully illustrated, and strikingly simple children’s books.
P.D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother is great example of a wildly popular children’s book with simple illustrations and a charming message. Illustrated with sparse watercolors, the story begins with the hatching of a baby bird. Right before the little bird is to hatch, his mother decides to leave and bring him food. Unfortunately, he hatches before she is back, tumbles out of the nest, and leaves in search of her. What ensues is a humorous journey on which the little bird asks various inappropriate animals and objects, “Are you my mother?”
The simple and repetitive sentences are perfect for children of preschool age, as is the familiar message of separation from parents. Children often feel bewildered and lost when their parents are away, and identify well with the baby bird as he becomes more and more anxious throughout the story, until he is happily reunited with his mother. [Read more…]