My favorite picture book based on the illustrations alone is Trinky Hakes Noble's The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash. Steven Kellogg is one of my favorite illustrators and you'll see why!
I feel I could've approached this in one of two ways: a book that I've used in the classroom or a book that I loved as a kid myself and continue to love. I went with the latter today!
What I love about Steven Kellogg is his attention to detail. Every crease in clothing is there, every book title, every shadow, every untied shoe, feather, hair, pattern, it goes on! And he balances it all with plenty of white space. I don't get overstimulated looking at his books because of this balance.
This story, if you don't know already, is hilarious! Jimmy and his classmates are on a field trip to the farm with a rather overbearing teacher (there will be a quiz when we return to class). How he manages to smuggle his pet boa constrictor in his schoolbag is beyond the reader.
The story works backwards as another child tells her mother about the day in speech bubbles. I LOVE speech bubbles in picture books! It connects the story to the illustrations in such an authentic way. As the reader becomes more engulfed in the child's story the speech bubbles and frames disappear. They return as she and Jimmy (with a new pet pig) set out for an after school ride. My favorite illustration is on the last page when the farmer's wife is knitting a long sock for their new pet boa!
I found this short book talk that walks you through the calamity of a sweet boa constrictor on a farm. Thanks for visiting!