Whale Shine An Artistic Tale by Fiona Robinson. 2013.
Whale’s job is to advertise for the art show where all her fellow sea creatures get to show case their talents- eel can make wonderful sand patterns, squid and octopus use their ink to create designs- and she feels left out, as she has no special talent. One night as she is contemplating the starry sky she wonders how she could bring that beauty to the other sea animals. With the help of special luminescence plankton, they decide to work together and submit their own entry to the art contest by creating a night sky under the weather. I loved the watercolor and pencil illustrations the yellows and dark blues play together to create a beautiful night.
Ollie and Claire by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, illustrated by Matthew Cordell. 2013.
These two best friends spent their days together- they hang out at the park and the beach; they play and exercise together, and have the same bologna on white dinner every night. However, the monotony and routine is getting to them when Claire sees an ad looking for a travel companion to circle the planet! What a dream, she decides she must do it without telling Ollie, after all she does not want to hurt his feelings. Preparation and packing begin and she starts to feel guilty, what type of a friend is she if she does not let him know. Nevertheless, Ollie has his own plans and is too busy to talk to her. The reader is in for a surprise when they discover that they are each others travel companions. It was Ollie’s idea to travel the world and whom best to accompany him that his best friend. This is a great read aloud story. The illustrations created using pencil, watercolors, and digital enhancements are expressive and colorful.