Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


For several years in January, the month when the Caldecott Medal is given by the American Library Association, our kindergarten students partake in an author study of Denise FlemingIn the Small, Small Pond brought her a Caldecott Honor Award in 1994.  Throughout her career her books have repeatedly appeared on the annual American Library Association, Assocation for Library Service to Children Notable Lists.

Beginning with the title page illustration, Denise Fleming's unique technique of pulp painting softly lulls readers into her newest offering, Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy (Henry Holt and Company, August 3, 2010).  (Pulp painting is a papermaking technique using colored cotton fiber poured through hand-cut stencils.) Readers can not help but sit back, unwind and gently begin this tale when presented with the sleeping fledglings all cuddled in their cozy nest.  We are very close to them as if we are peeking through the leaves of the tree.

Fleming's choice of color for this theme evokes tranquility as does her selection of twelve animals which are perennial favorites of children.  Each two page spread features a small animal in the protective embrace of its parent as the words, Tiny baby panda, sleepy, oh so sleepy...Tiny baby ostrich, sleepy, oh so sleepy...tiny baby lion, sleepy, oh so sleepy.  Where's my sleepy baby? create a lullaby cadence.

Her artistic talent is prominent in the positioning  of the young babies and their parents.  In none of the illustrations is the full adult in view.  In some just the feet are showing, a mouth, a nose, back or stomach where the baby nestles in quiet repose.   As each animal is presented readers will long to reach out and stroke the page.

It is in the final pages that the question, Where's my sleepy baby?, is answered.  Closing with Sleep tight, sleepy babies, tiny sleepy babies curved around our blue planet Denise Fleming reminds us of our universal similarities and all that unites us.  For good reason she dedicates this book to her daughter, Indigo, who will be 32 this year.

Please check out Denise Fleming's web site by flowing the link attached to her name at this blog's beginning.  It is just as colorful and full of life as her books and loaded with activities to enhance each title as well as other information about her and her art.  To view some interior pages please follow this link to the publisher's website.

No comments:

Post a Comment