Charley Harper’s Animal Alphabet— Count the Birds — Book of Colors
Written by Zoe Burke
Illustrated by Charley Harper
Pomegranate Kids 6/30/2015
978-0-7649-7233-1 — 978-0-7649-7246-1 — 978-0-7649-7261-4
20 pages Age 1—3
Today is not December 8th, but that is the date of Charley Harper Day in Cincinnati, Ohio where Mr. Harper (1922-2007), a notable wildlife artist, attended art school at The Art Academy of Cincinnati. Pomegranate Kids still publishes Charley Harper wildlife, notably in children’s books,
Harper once said, “I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced . . . the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe [out of chaos].”
Mr. Harper used basic shapes to create animals, saying he, “winnowed out all but the most important details.” The following three board books from Zoe Burke and Pomegranate Kids proudly introduces children to the wildlife of Charley Harper.
In Charley Harper’s Animal Alphabet, circles, triangles, squares, and lines become a beaver, cardinal, dove, elephant, and more as you continue through the alphabet. Kids will easily recognize each animal and most will understand the basic shapes that comprise those animals. This ABC book is fun for young kids learning their alphabet and for adults who love art, especially minimalistic art.
Hare and Hummingbirds
Make me laugh.
Charley Harper was an artist for more than sixty years, working with his fellow-artist and wife Edie McKee.
Together they traveled the US before settling down at Harper Studio, their joint studio in Cincinnati. Harper once said when watching wildlife, “I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior, and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.”
Charley Harper’s Count the Birds highlights some of those birds he watched. While made with simple shapes, the animals have intricate detail work filling the simple patterns. This detail makes each animal unique, humorous, and always a delight for the eye. The 6 Pelicans have long pointed beaks filled with lines of various thickness, beginning at and extending from mid-pupil. The connected pelicans look like banjos as they draw your eye from top to bottom. The 8 heart-shaped owls sit inside a heart surrounded by slivers of orange moon. Counting with Charley Harper reminds me of the BabyLit® board books from publisher Gibbs Smith (see examples HERE and HERE).
Sits and sings
Flutter their wings.
Charley Harper’s Book of Colors completes the trio of board books young children will love for more than what they can learn. This book will inspire a love of art, just as the Gibbs Smith BabyLit® board books inspired a love of the classics. The red and black ladybug, in a field of green dots, or the orange spotted cat, laying on a tree limb, will catch the imagination of children and adults alike. Young children will learn more than the basic colors in this sturdy board book. Besides red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and brown, there is black, gray, pink, and white.
A bumblebee with
Stripes of YELLOW—
He’s a very busy fellow.
A GREEN bird
Whose head is BLUE
An ORANGE fox
is watching you!
Zoe Burke’s perfectly rhyming text wonderfully complements Charley Harper’s artwork. Parents will enjoy reading these board books to their children. The books are sturdy and the right size for little hands. The bright colors and original designs will catch young children’s attention. I’ve seen a lot of board books over the years and truly believe these Charley Harper/Zoe Burke board books are destined to become classics.
CHARLEY HARPER’S ANIMAL ALPHABET. CHARLEY HARPER’S COUNT THE BIRDS. CHARLEY HARER’S BOOK OF COLORS. Text copyright © 2015 by Zoe Burke. Illustrations copyright © 2015 Charley Harper Art Studio. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Pomegranate Kids, Portland OR.
Purchase these Charley Harper Board Books
Charley Harper’s Animal Alphabet at Amazon—Book Depository—IndieBound Books—Pomegranate Kids.
Charley Harper’s Count the Birds at Amazon—Book Depository—IndieBound Books—Pomegranate Kids.
Charley Harper’s Book of Colors at Amazon—Book Depository—IndieBound Books—Pomegranate Kids.
Meet the author, Zoe Burke, at her website: http://www.zoeburke.com/
Meet the illustrator, Charley Harper, at his studio website: http://charleyharperartstudio.com/
Find more board books at the Pomegranate Kids website: http://www.pomegranate.com/
. . Pomegranate Kids is an imprint of Pomegranate Communications, Inc
Also by Zoe Burke and Charley Harper
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Charley Harper’s Animal Alphabet, Charley Harper’s Count the Birds, & Charley Harper’s Book of Colors by Zoe Burke & Charley Harper, and received from Pomegranate Kids (an imprint of Pomegranate Communications, Inc), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”