Friday, December 2, 2016

There Is A Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith (2016)



All about collective nouns for animals and other things - some of them quite beautiful or interesting or moving.  Or sad.  "There was an unkindness of ravens" was particularly sad, because I love crows and ravens so much!  They are certainly not unkind to each other, but loving and loyal.  We are unkind to them!

Lane Smith's illustrations are dreamlike and wonderful.  Right off the bat, they are incredible.  You are sucked right into this dream world he's created.  I love the color scheme too.  I envy artists like this!  I wish I were so talented.  "Painted in oils and sprayed with acrylic varnish to create various mottled textures.  Also used were colored pencils, graphite, traditional cut and paste and digital cut and paste."   I particularly like the illustration below.




There Is a Tribe of KidsThere Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All books are magical to someone. Picture books, however, are especially magical. And strong, good picture books - a unicorn in the publishing world - are painted or drawn with extra enchantment. This extra enchantment is called "love of the craft." Lane Smith's There Is A Tribe of Kids is one of those books jam packed full of extra enchantment. At it's most basic level, it's a simple list of collective nouns for animals and things ("tribe of kids" "a colony of penguins" and my least favorite, no fault of Smith's, "an unkindness of ravens"); but take the words out (easily done) and a story progresses from page to page of a ungendered human's marvelous journey. Smith's illustrations ("painted in oils and sprayed with acrylic varnish to create various mottled textures. Also used were colored pencils, graphite, traditional cut and paste and digital cut and paste" - WOW) are enviably incredible; if I even had a pinky's worth of Lane Smith's talent for illustration, I would consider myself blessed. You will get sucked in from the moment you open the book (the winsome, cute blue and white mountain goats!) and enjoy every minute of your time spent in this dream world. Note: Picture books are for everyone, not just children! This should be shouted from the highest mountaintops. If more people read pictures books, the world would be a happier place.


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