I think that Jerry Pinkney is one of the finest watercolor illustrators ever to grace a children’s book. I would include Alan Say in that category as well. There is just something magical about Pinkney’s storytelling abilities when he puts brush to paper. Even as he conveys an old and well known fable, he brings his own spin to the story. I don’t want to be a spoiler but there’s a subtle surprise ending that kids seem able to easily interpret. It’s a good message for kids, particularly those who compete in sports.
I also like his wise elder message to adults, and it rings particularly true for me. Slow and steady wins the race but also remember to enjoy the journey. There are so few words are in this gloriously illustrated practically wordless picture book set in the American Southwest, and yet he manages to convey several story threads. I guess that is why he is a Caldecott honored illustrator!
What is your favorite Jerry Pinkney book? Or your favorite watercolor children’s book illustrator? Please share!
Picture Book of the Day
The Tortoise and the Hare by Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney
Pinkney says in his artist’s note, “‘Slow and steady wins the race’ was particularly meaningful in my youth, since I often struggled in school beause of dyslexia, but the moral rings truer than ever today. As the pace of our lives continues to speed up, many yearn for a less hurried approach to life. The tortoise proves that it can be wise to have a goal, but one should relish the process of getting there.” [nearly wordless picture book for ages 2 and up]