There is something enchanting about illustrations in old books. I love modern illustrators’ work too, but the process is very different. In older books, the pictures are often colored in only a few colors, since each color was printed separately and adding more colors was expensive. Today, illustrators have access to amazing computer programs that allow them to layer their work and provide fantastic detail. Both are wonderful – afterall, it wouldn’t be a picture book without the pictures. 

The big award for illustrations is the Caldecott Award – and the committee who decides each year’s award winner considers the dust jacket, the cover itself and the endpapers along with the pictures in the book. I chose to re-read a sweet story that won the Caldecott in 1964: May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrix Schenk de Regniers. The illustrations were done by Beni Montresor.

The little boy is asked to the castle every day for For a visit with the Queen and King, and every day he asks if he may bring a friend. His friends are a wild bunch!

The lions are my favorite, they come along for Halloween.

The story is written in sweet sing-song rhyming stanzas. The story is simple and fun, no big underlying lesson, but that’s okay! Simple for the sake of simple is missing in a lot of kids’ daily lives.

I’ve never read any other books by this author, and the only other book illustrated by Montresor that I’m familiar with is On Christmas Eve by Eve Bunting, I think if I ever find more by them, I’ll snatch them up!

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