Things I found, things I am saving for winter

Cory's Pinecone Mound

Hi there!

I found some treasures for you:

The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown

The Dead Bird

My favorite thing about Margaret Wise Brown is that she doesn't try to be clever or surprising in her picture books. Instead, The Dead Bird is an innocent and reassuring exploration of death, written in a safe and familiar context to most children. Publishers released this version in 2016 with illustrations by Christian Robinson, who I think is a perfect match for this book with his shapely and graphic illustrative style.

By Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Christian Robinson

An article in Smithsonian Magazine about Margaret Wise Brown turned me on to the idea that the familiar world, not the fantasy world, is the realm of children.

"It is only the blind eye of the adult that finds the familiar uninteresting. The attempt to amuse children by presenting them with the strange, the bizarre, the unreal, is the unhappy result of this adult blindness." -Lucy Sprague Mitchell

According to the article, Lucy influenced Margaret during their collaboration on school textbooks. Both Goodnight Moon and The Dead Bird illustrate that influence.

If you struggle to come up with a clever or fantastic idea for your next book, take a page from Margaret Wise Brown and look to the familiar world for inspiration. Dig into your childhood memories, experiences, and traditions. Could you keep it simple?

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