A River By Marc Martin

 

Marc Martin‘s illustrative style gives me a feeling of warmth and nostalgia. His countryside landscapes feel like patchwork quilts sewn together with graphite and gouache, his industrial landscapes are cluttered with painted traffic and concrete. The artwork has a textural quality that make his picture books slide off the bookshelf into your willing hands.

Marc’s latest picture book, ‘A River‘ is a story about the power of the imagination. It’s a story we can all relate to, a young girl stares out of her window, daydreaming. She sets off on a journey along a river, through a busy jungle, down a cascading waterfall and across a vast, open ocean. The girl and her boat are dwarfed by the landscapes she travels through all connected by the river. The simple story is poetic and beautiful.

Maybe it’s a story about looking beyond oneself.

Published by Templar Publishing

 

Greenling By Levi Pinfold

Levi Pinfold, award-winning illustrator, has created a spellbinding and stunning modern fable about nature’s power. Levi’s stories are filled with spectacular paintings. I think Levi is one of the greats, up there with David Weisner, Chris Van Allsburg, Shaun Tan and Aaron Becker.

In his latest picture book, Mr Barleycorn picks a green baby that had been growing, the consequences that this sets in motion takes Mr and Mrs Barleycorn by surprise, courgettes sprouting in the kitchen and carrots out of the television.

Published by Templar Publishing.

Wall by Tom Clohosy Cole

Tom Clohosy Cole, creator of Space Race (published by Nobrow), presents his debut picture book, ‘Wall’.

Wall will be published in October 2014 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Before I say anything else, WOW! This book is incredible! This book is why I love the picture book form. Their ability to deal with challenging themes; provoke thought and raise questions, WALL does all of that and is illustrated in a way that gives credit to the intelligence of its young audience. Props to Templar Publishing, this is a masterpiece. Thank you!

The book follows one boy’s struggle to reunite his family. Although based around a true story, the wall is symbolic of separations around the world, whether it be between whole communities or two individuals.

Now, I always get excited when a brown package is delivered with the words ‘Magpie That’ on the address. I tear it open like a kid eagerly opening a present. When I found this beneath the brown packaging I stood and stared in awe. My eyes drawn to the powerful one word title ‘WALL’, stamped in red, big and bold like a tabloid headline, then my line of sight passed through that apocalyptic, blood-stained, fire-filled night sky to find the sobering image of a young boy, stood alone on the wrong side of a prison-like wall, topped with spirals of barbed wire, ironically designed to keep out intruders. Jaw-droppingly, stunning artwork!

The book looks and feels like a graphic novel that has been transformed into the picture book form. The pages seem to be composed with the mind of a master cinematographer. It makes me think of Apocalypse Now and Sin City, done in a kid-friendly, Steven Spielberg, father and son way. If I haven’t made it clear yet, I LOVE it!