Thursday, March 12, 2020

ReFoReMo Day 9: Author/Illustrator Gina Perry Highlights Harmony


One of the most magical feats a picture book can do is create a harmony between beautiful words and images. A harmony that doesn’t merely describe the other, but enhances, complements, and deepens the story.

These are all books by fellow author/illustrators. Whether the text is sparse and poetic (The Big Umbrella, The Book of Mistakes) or rich in dialogue and action (Linus, Bear Scare) or even absurd but informational and inspiring (Crab Cake) - all are exceptional.

 Linus The Little Yellow Pencil by Scott Magoon 
Bear’s Scare by Jacob Grant 
 The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates 
Crab Cake by Andrea Tsurumi 

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken 



Gina is giving away her book, NOW? NOT YET! to one lucky winner! To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must be registered by March 2, comment on each post, consistently read mentor texts, and enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the conclusion of ReFoReMo.

Gina Perry is an author/illustrator living in New Hampshire. Her books SMALL (little bee books), TOO MUCH! NOT ENOUGH! and NOW? NOT YET! (Tundra) are pieces of her heart that encourage children to read, laugh, shout, and hug. www.ginaperry.com



129 comments:

  1. This is what makes picture books magic! I loved The Big Umbrella. Subversive?

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  2. Glad to see BEAR SCARE on your list. I love Jacob Grant's story. And the BOOK OF MISTAKES is marvelous in its simplicity]. Thank you.

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  3. More books to read! How fun. I want my books to give their illustrator lots of possibilities.

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  4. Harmony between word and image is so important. And there can be a play between the two of them which sometimes results in breathtaking work as with "The Book of Mistakes." Thank you for stressing this.

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  5. I love The Big Umbrella! I'm not yet familiar with the others. Alas, i failed art! But it is important as a writer to give the illustrator lots of room to work with.

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  6. Harmony! I love the thoughts of this post. Thank you

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  7. Thank you, Gina. Definitely what I strive for. Great examples.

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  8. More perfect picture books to add to my collection. Thank you, Gina.

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  9. An interesting selection - thank you!

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  10. This really is the magic of picture books- the marriage of art and word. As writers we have a certain vision but as I saw first hand when I worked at Charlesbridge, they take great care to choose the illustrator that will best enhance and lift the text to another level. And when it’s right it is magical as these are. As a writer it is challenging to leave room for that magic. These books will be a great reminder why we need to.

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  11. Great books to study when learning to leave room for the illustrator and thinking about how illustrations can take a book to a completely new level. Thanks!

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  12. To tell a story in such few words is a beautiful thing.

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  13. Bear's Scare and The Big Umbrella are my favorites! Thanks for the great post!

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  14. Thanks for the great examples of author/illustrator books.

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  15. Just read Crab Cake to my kinders last week. We had a great conversation about what happened and what we can do. I love Bear's Scare, I'm taking it today to read to them. Thanks for the list!

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  16. GINA: THANK YOU for the reminder all children's book authors need now and again--to find ways to allow the illustrations to not only help tell the story, but to find the best way possible to allow the words and pics to work together to create the full story. It's not just "these are the illustrations" and "these are the words"; both are SO necessary to making the magic of picture books. THANK YOU for the reminder, and for providing these GREAT book examples to show us the way!

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  17. Great list of author/illustrator books. Thanks for sharing these mentor texts. Trying to find Bear's Scare.

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  18. Harmony, what a great word to describe the perfect picture book balance of art and words. Thank you for this list!

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  19. I cannot wait to get my hands on this stack of books. I've been looking forward to reading BEAR'S SCARE since I got it from the library. LINUS looks cute, too. Thank you for the great post and this wonderful list of mentor texts.

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  20. Thanks for these stellar examples. I love The Book of Mistakes and the way the text-and the reader-interact with the shifting drawing. Plus it's such a wonderful message told without heavy-handedness.

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  21. I'm still waiting for a few of these books from the library and can't wait to read them all. Thank you!

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  22. Looking forward to reading all of these when I can get them from my library.

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  23. Thank you for your selection of books. I thought crab cakes was great!

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  24. Harmony between text and illustrations is so important. These are great examples. Thank you.

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  25. Makes me want to learn to draw! Wonderful selection of books - multiple levels of enjoyment!! Thank you.

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  26. 'A harmony that doesn’t merely describe the other, but enhances, complements, and deepens the story.' ~ So important and there are books out there that are just magical. Just put the Linus book on hold!

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  27. Great mentor texts today--thank you!

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  28. Harmony, the interweaving of two parts to make them one cohesive unit. Love these books and your take on them. TY, Gina Perry.

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  29. Thank you, Gina, for the great mentor texts of books written by author/illustrators. I am a doodler as I love drawing but suck at it, so I doodle.

    I loved the Book of Mistakes and Bear’s Scare and they are sitting in my overstuffed bookcase ... in fact I have a picture book about a spider but no one is trying to get rid of him as he’s the hero of the book. I can’t wait to see Scott Magoon’s digitally created art in Linus: The Little Yellow Pencil as I have his books Breathe and The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot and enjoyed them.



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  30. I just requested all five books from my library. Thank you!

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  31. Thank you for sharing books with beautiful words and pictures. I look forward to reading them.

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  32. Thank you Gina for some great examples of harmony. How timely is Crab Cake for the children to read now.

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  33. Thank you for sharing, Gina! Illustrations make such a big difference when it comes to the total package of a picture book!

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  34. These are all new to me. Thanks for recommending them.

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  36. Thanks for the recommended author-illustrator picture books. I look forward to reading them. 😊

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  37. Can't wait to read Bear's Scare and Linus. The other books in your post are such fabulous examples of the magic of words + pictures. Thank you for sharing, Gina!

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  38. Thank you for suggesting this set of books. I will definitely find your picture books too. Thanks Gina!

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  39. The Book of Mistakes is such a wonderful book. Thanks for pointing out others that reflect similar ability to relate words and pictures.

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  40. Thanks for these examples, I can't wait until my library has them available!

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  41. Thank you, Gina, for these titles that depict outstanding stories for kids.

    Words + Images = Amazing PBs.

    Suzy Leopold

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  42. Gina, when I was young I loved to draw and color. These picture books have inspired me to experiment with drawing and coloring once again.
    Thank you for giving us a list of books to share with both children and adults to encourage and inspire them.
    These books challenge us to use our gifts to make a difference, not being afraid to embrace change, to make mistakes, or to take risks.

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  43. Thanks for mentioning these titles and the illustrations. I was happy to find 3 of the 5 titles and scour them for illustrations and ideas.

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  44. Wonderful examples with great depths of talent to successfully realize a creative endeavor from beginning to end.

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  45. Harmony is so important in all things! Thank you for sharing these titles!

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  46. I'm not an illustrator, but look forward to the inspiration these titles will bring Thank you, Gina!

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  47. Great examples. Thanks for this post!

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  48. Thanks for these recommendations! I haven't read may of them so I'm adding them to my list.

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  49. These are all wonderful titles. I do so wish I could be an illustrator - in the absence of that talent, I'll keep modeling words and remember to write with the illustrations in mind.

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  50. Crab Cake is one of my new favorite picture books. Harmony between illustrations and text is what makes picture books so special.

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  51. I love Crab Cake! The use of grey/black as the ocean gets more and more polluted is awesome. And the turnaround is wonderful! Then there's the refrain of how crab bakes cakes, and how it turns around the community. Great book! And the Book of Mistakes is the type of book that (I think) only an author-illustrator could dream up. So good. Now I've got to read these others!

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  52. Gina, thank you for these titles that pull image and text together in harmony.

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  53. My favorite is LINUS because it really pulled at my heartstrings, but I love all of these books. Each one is an amazing example of harmony between the words and images which is one of my favorite things in a picture book. I do not illustrate and wonder how an author can achieve the same level of harmony without over using notes to the illustrator. I know it can be done because I have seen books with independent authors and illustrators that strike the right balance, just like the examples in the reforemo list. It is definitely a skill that I am striving to master. Thank you, Gina Perry, for these great recommendations.

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  54. The above comment is from Jennifer Odom. My comments are still showing up as Unknown. I still don't know how to fix it. Sorry.

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  55. Wonderful recommendations, thank you!

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  56. Thanks for the theme of harmony, with wonderful texts to support it. Learning a lot about the use of white space and sparse, but moving text. [Posted by LouAnn Silva]

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  57. Such a fun list--I love Crab Cake! I also enjoyed The Book of Mistakes--a great message for this perfectionist :)

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  58. I loved the inclusivity of The Big Umbrella. The illustrations were wonderful as the umbrella stretched to include everyone standing out in the rain.

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  59. So fun to be on target with reading along with these books! Thank you so much for sharing and caring for the kidlit community!

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  60. Such fun books to read! Thanks for highlighting!

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  61. Thanks, Gina, for these great examples of harmony between art and text. I loved exploring all the details in the illustrations that added so much more to the story. Harmony also seemed to be a theme for several of them.

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  62. Loved Linus: The Little Yellow Pencil and the Book of Mistakes. Looking forward to checking out the other titles.

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  63. Thanks for sharing. Corinna Luyken's The Book of Mistakes is a terrific example.

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  64. Like the word "harmony" to describe the relationship of art and text. Great examples.

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  65. Love the books you chose, Gina! And yours are pretty sweet, too!

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  66. Thank you for the recommended reading, Gina! I'm going to make sure I study these closely.

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  67. What a great group of books. Can't wait to read them

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  68. Thanks for gathering these books. The Big Umbrella is superb.

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  69. I've had The Book of Mistakes home from the library but will get it again to look at it through a different lens after reading your post, thanks. And will check out the others.

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  70. Makes me wish I could illustrate too

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  71. Great list. I love The Big Umbrella. Thank you for sharing.

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  72. The interaction between text and illustration is what makes picture books so special. I am always impressed by how illustrators use their creativity and imagination to enhance the text. Those who can both write and illustrate have a definite advantage over those of us who can only master stick figures. Thanks for a unique list of books to inspire us. Loved The Book of Mistakes and its messages.

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  73. The illustrations can really make or break a book. These are excellent examples.
    -Ashley Congdon

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  74. I love to read, shout, laugh and hug! Can’t wait to read her books!

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  75. Lovely examples! My fave was The Book of Mistakes. Have made many of those "mistakes" myself :)

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  76. Thanks, Gina, for the terrific examples of author/illustrator books.

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  77. What author illustrators can do with words and images is magical. Thanks for sharing these impressive books and congratulations on yours.

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  78. I was honestly so impressed by the concepts of these books!! What genius ideas and so well written and illustrated as well, which is a superb pairing to carry out such important themes.

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  79. Gorgeous choices! The Book of Mistakes is one of my favorites to share with students. Thanks for this wonderful list.

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  80. I loved all the 2 books I read. These were great to read. Crab cake was cute, but I love the conflict between Linus and his friend the Eraser.

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  81. Great selection of mentor texts. Loved Crab Cakes. Thanks!

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  82. I love the big umbrella! Great selection of texts.

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  83. Wonderful mentor texts. I typed up Crab Cakes...so cute!

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  84. I loved the deep layers of meaning in these books.

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  85. I loved these books for the layer of heart and the deeper message that ran through each one — it seemed stronger than in most author/illustrator books, and I wondered if that were one of the advantages of being an author/illustrator.

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  86. Harmony between words and images is beautiful! Thank you for the great list of texts.

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  87. Crab Cake was wonderful! Oceans,full of plastics and other garbage from around the world, definitely affect marine life! I hope this has been translated into other languages and sold world wide. I agree the message is deeper than a fun story of the crab making cakes. Thank you!

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  88. Great books - I especially liked Linus and Book of Mistakes as they reflect the writer/artist life and in doing so show children the struggle of creating. Crab Cakes is one I will make an extra effort to find after looking at a few of its images online.

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  89. "The Book of Mistakes" is one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing your picks!

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  90. Oh! I haven’t read any of these yet! Time to do som searching :) Thanks for the post!

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  91. Thanks for highlighting these excellent books!

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  92. These books are touching...both in words and pictures. Harmony, indeed! Thank you.

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  93. I love the interplay of text and illustrations that result in a picture book, and I love your term for it - harmony.

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  94. This is what's so amazing about picture books - the dance of word and art on the page!

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  95. I think author/illustrators who can do the balance of sparse text and illustration are epically talented. Some of my favorite picture books are ones where there's very little text and either big, bold illustration, or sparse illustration to match the text. The best part is that the creativity between the two is endless and that's why picture books are so magical!

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  96. Just LOVE Linus! Such perfection of balance and a great ending! Thank you!

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  97. I adore the way these books commingle the words and the art. The story couldn't be told in the same way without the illustrations, and the illustrations make especially good use of the text! Love it!!

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  98. I enjoyed all of these and could clearly see the marriage of text & illustration! Thank you.

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  99. Thanks so much for the post. I love the illustrations on the featured books.

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  100. I loved reading these and I wish I could draw. I'd be happy with decent stick figures.

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  101. That's why picture books are so magical when that balance between words and images is there.

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  102. Thank you for this interesting post! Lots of great examples!

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  103. This is a wonderful selection of books. Thank you so much!

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  104. It's so helpful to think about how the text and illustrations interact. Thanks for some great examples to study.

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  105. I too loved the book of Mistakes. A true creator discovers the genius in mistakes.

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  106. Thanks so much for providing this wonderful list of mentor texts.

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  107. Beautiful books!

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  108. Perfect balance between words and pictures is imperative. Thank you.

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  109. Thank you for this. I loved the covers.

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  110. Thank you for this great list of mentor texts, Gina!

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  111. I don’t know any of these books, but I look forward to reading and learning from them. Hopefully, my library will open soon! Thanks again.

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  112. These are some of my swoon worthy favorites!

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  113. The play on words and clever personification in LINUS are only part of this PB's harmonious appeal! Can't wait to get the rest of your suggested reads from my 'hold' list once the library reopens. Thanks for an informative post!

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  114. Once again I was struck by the layers within each story. Impressive!

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  115. I've always wished I could illustrate my own books, to show what I see when I write them. Yet I'm amazed at the talents of many professional illustrators who are able to see, and add so much more, to our stories!! Thank you!

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  116. These are exceptional! Thank you. Just what I needed today.

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  117. Beautiful books, Gina! Makes me wish I could illustrate. :)
    Thanks!

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  118. I agree that illustrators are the perfect partner, they enhance the text in so many ways! I would add Bear Came Along to the list. The illustrations joined with the text tell a delightful tale.

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  119. I haven't been able to get many of these yet, but got to see a preschool reading of The Big Umbrella, which was very lovely. Can't wait to read Crab Cake!

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  120. I had only read The Book of Mistakes and Bear's Scare. The library closed before I could pick up the rest, but they are waiting for me in hold when they open again. Thank you!

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  121. These are wonderful - loved seeing how the illustrations and story interact and build the story together so beautifully. Bear's Scare is my favorite of these!

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  122. Haven't read CRAB CAKE yet, but I'm really looking forward to it! Thanks for your suggestions and insights!

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