I read these three titles before I started my humorous picture book research. What I had in mind while I was reading these was the 3-year-old family member I often read picture books with. My experience reading with him twists my perception of these kinds of stories now. I'm always thinking in terms of what would he like, what would he be able to take in and appreciate?
The Red Hat by David Teague with illustrations by Antoinette Portis. This has striking illustrations in red, white, black, and lots of blue. The story has a little magical realism thing going. The wind keeps two children apart, making one of them work so they can meet. It's a good story, but is it a really young children's story?
Check out Elizabeth Bird on spot gloss, something I'd never heard of, and its use in this book. Now that I know about the spot gloss in these illustrations, that might be the catch for my young reader, if we were reading this together. I don't know if the story of two kids struggling to meet would grab him on its own.
Troto and the Trucks by Uri Shulevitz would be a hit with my picture book reader, simply because of the trucks. And while the story doesn't make a lot of sense to me, the little car overcoming all those trucks might work very well with him.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena with illustrations by Christian Robinson. This one I picked up because I read an article about de la Pena that interested me. This is a story about a boy going somewhere with his grandmother after church and not feeling very enthusiastic about it. The elegance of the writing may be over my little reader's head. Though I have read that this book is for grade school age children, not three-year-olds. It's not meant for my guy, who likes looking at pictures of trucks. Though he prefers trains, to be honest.
Picture books cover such an array of age groups. Someone must be writing about that, right?
Last Stop on Market Street was this year's Newbery winner, by the way. I told you it was elegant.
Also, Market Street's illustrator, Christian Robinson, also illustrated Gaston and Josephine.