"I like strange stories, shaggy stories, stories with knobby bits and gristle and surprises...
All my favorite books have quirks."
I've been working on a few illustrations lately that have their share of knobby bits and gristle. I've also been thinking about the ways in which stories can surprise and leave questions unanswered even as they end. Most of my favorite books from childhood have quirks, and many of my favorite illustrators have a rough, loose, or odd quality to their work.
As I work on a story of my own, I've been visiting my local library and bringing home some tall stacks of books. Here are some shaggy stories that I've really enjoyed lately:
Would You Rather by Jon Burningham
John Patrick Norman McHennessy: The Boy Who Was Always Late also by Jon Burningham
Hogwash by Arthur Geisert
Oink also by Arthur Geisert
Take Away the A: An Alphabeast of a Book! by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo
The Treehorn Trilogy by Florence Parry Heide and Edward Gorey
Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva
Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins
The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell
The Skunk by Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell
It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Bealey
The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett
Return to Augie Hobble by Lane Smith
The Rain Door by Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake
Pomelo Explores Color by Ramona Badescu and Benjamin Chaud
Also, Carter Higgins, creator of the wonderful blog Design of The Picture Book, shares her thoughts on the dingiest rattiest books, stories that matter, and honesty that makes you squirm (as well as a great list of of books to check out) here.