Picture Books as Art

When a family reads three or four picture books a night as part of the bedtime ritual, it is easy to lose sight of the concept of picture books as art.
A current exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago reminds us how talented picture book illustrators can be. The exhibit is called Fantasy, Facts and Furry Friends: Caldecott Medal and Honor Books, 2001-2005. You can view the original artwork and the finished book side by side. Many different styles of art are featured. Kevin Henkes' 2005 Caldecott winner Kitten's First Full Moon, completely drawn in black and white, is showcased. Brian Collier's lush jewel-toned illustrations for Doreen Rappaport's Martin's Big Words are included. Mo Willems' famous pigeon from Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is there along with many others.
If you're in the Chicago area, don't miss this exhibit. It runs through October 30.