Sunday nights at our home are usually filled with lots of book-reading and snuggling, so you shouldn’t be surprised at the topic of today’s post: children’s author and illustrator Kevin Henkes.
Raelyn has long had a copy of the excellent, uplifting Chrysanthemum. It’s a story about a precious little girl with an “absolutely perfect” name who is the subject of teasing. Needless to say it’s a story where everyone learns the value and importance of individuality and uniqueness.
I wasn’t teased as a child (as a Middle Schooler, yes) but I can see the power a book like this would have. Raelyn loves it, even if Jenn and I do get tongue-tied saying Chrysanthemum over and over again.
I much prefer another Henkes book, Kitten’s First Full Moon, a decidedly more immature tome. Where Chrysanthemum is aimed at kids 3 – 6 (i’m guessing), Kitten’s First Full Moon is for a much younger set, maybe 2 and under.
The story isn’t nearly as riveting or involved, but the images are gorgeous. It’s a kind of a thick line style in this grayscale black-and-white that absolutely captivates me. Plus, Raelyn can then “read” the book herself using the pictures as a guide. She actually does this with every book we read to her now, not just these two.
As a matter of fact, the reason I’m writing this post in the first place is because I was amazed to learn that both books were written and illustrated by the same person. They’re so wildly different in audience, style and substance it’s amazing.
I can only hope that when I actually become an author – as opposed to a key-tapper like I am now – that I have Henkes’ range.
From his bio:
Since then I’ve written and illustrated many picture books and written several novels. I like the variety of trying new ways to fill the pages between two covers. Experimenting with words and paint and ink keeps my job interesting.
So thank you, Kevin Henkes, for enriching my Sunday night, my daughter, my family and me.