I recently discovered author and illustrator Peter Brown and instantly loved the first book I read by him The Curious Garden.
This story, inspired by true events, tells the story of Liam a young boy who decides to help a small garden grow. At first it is hard work and things don't always go as planned. But as Liam begins to learn about gardening and preservers the garden begins to grow and grow. As the garden grows so do the gardeners and the town changes from a dull, dreary town to a town full of flowers and trees. Brown's wonderful illustrations often need few words to carry the story along. This book is one of my kids favorites.
Today at the library I discovered two more books by Brown about Lucille Beatrice Bear. Lucille is a precocious bear who always wants to have things her way. In Children Make Terrible Pets she finds a small boy in the woods and decides to take him home and keep him. All is grand for awhile until "Squeak" starts to cause all sorts of problems and Lucille comes to realize that children do indeed make terrible pets. Brown's delightful cartoonish illustrations--done with pencil, paper and cut construction paper-- truly bring the story to life.
In Brown's latest book Lucille wakes up one morning bound and determined to make a friend. She tries as hard as she can to fit in, but nothing seems to be working out. When she has finally given up hope, a friend arrives. The illustrations are what make this book truly special. Children will relate to Lucy's predicament and love the ways she tries to fit in -- trying to wash a skunk, asking an ostrich about flying, wearing a kangaroo suit, and accidentally eating a bees home. I love the expression on Lucille's face when she says, "Take a deep breath, Lucy! You can do this. You can make a friend." Kids of all ages will relate too and enjoy this book. A wonderful read-aloud!
Check out Peter Brown's website for more information on the author.