The delightful picture books of Sarah Stewart and David Small

The Michigan, husband and wife, writer and illustrator team of Sarah Stewart and David Small have a new contribution, The Quiet Place, to add to their fabulous collection of children’s picture books. It is a sweet tale of a young Mexican immigrant girl, who builds a private sanctuary out of discarded boxes where she can draw and dream and write letters to her aunt in Mexico (which provide the text of the story). All of Small & Stewart’s picture books have a universal appeal making them actually very well suited for the enjoyment of adults as well as children. One of my favorites is The Money Tree and another isThe Library and I check them out from time to time to enjoy the whimsy and playful wisdom of the stories and illustrations.

David Small has won numerous awards, including the Caldicott Medal, for his illustrations. In fact, his illustrations in the book, One Cool Friend, just won the Caldicott Honor this year. It is a hoot – pure pleasure on every page – with breezy, minimalist watercolor and ink pictures which convey the hilarious romp Elliot has with his absconded penguin. Small's autobiographical graphic novel, Stitches, was a finalist for the National Book Award. It is a remarkable book. Here is a review of Stitches which conveys it's brilliance well. Sarah Stewart was awarded the Michigan Author of the Year Award in 2007. So they are both clearly celebrated and honored artists. They make an astounding team and they are practically our neighbors. Check here for a look through Small’s sketchbook. And visit the Youth department to sample their work.