{book} a red knit cap girl to know

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30 days of pbDay Twenty-Three:

Red Knit Cap Girl and Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue 

by Naoko Stoop 

Megan Tingley Books/Little, Brown and Co 2012 and 2013 respectively

red knit cap girl cover

I would start with “charming story,” but what captures my attention is the medium in which Naoko Stoop illustrates Red Knit Cap Girl: Acrylic, ink, and pencil on plywood. The gradation of colors catch in the grain creating an intriguing texture. The brushwork of the moon’s face is just lovely on plywood. The lanterns are pretty sweet, too.  Not every page bears a full-wash of color, but Stoop frames out a page or two, to striking effect.

Red-Knit-Cap-Girl-inside2

Red Knit Cap Girl would like to speak to the Moon and wonders how to find her. She learns that Moon with come close, so Red Knit Cap Girl and friends dream up of ways to attract Moon’s notice. They create lanterns, sing songs, but cannot find her. Stories that reward problem-solving are rarely so understated and cute. The animal friends are really adorable. Cute and wise is even more rare.

The Moon smiles and says, “You have made it dark enough to see me and quiet enough to hear me.” For all the light and activity, there is a benefit to darkness and silence, to whispers and listening. Welcome to your next bedtime story.

red knit cap girl to the rescue cover

Stoop returns with her adorable Red Knit Cap Girl and animal friends—and paper cuts. The text is simpler as the illustrations create most of the narrative. And I must say the storm at sea is gorgeous in interpretation. The story is magical, flying with paper gliders, sailing in a paper boat, making new friends and helping them find their way before returning home.

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red knit cap girl to the rescue page

The background colors are stronger of hue. The blues and greens are really beautiful. The illustrations are straightforward, calm and they make me think of a folk art version of something Jeffers would do, though with less clever humor. That Stoop carries off adventure stories without the impulse for high-energy is impressive and incredibly appealing.

I’m looking forward to Red Knit Cap Girl and The Reading Tree (2014).

——————————-

Naoko Stoop’s love of drawing began when she was a young child growing up in Japan. She was educated at Keio University in Tokyo and New York School of Interior Design in New York. Naoko now lives and paints in Brooklyn, New York.” She “uses found materials including plywood and brown paper bags as her canvas. She has shown her work in a variety of galleries and stores in New York and hopes that, through her artwork, she can inspires the child within everyone. –jacket copy

Red Knit Cap Girl is her first picture book. She has also illustrated: All Creatures Great and Small (Board Book), Sterling Children’s Books 2012; Noah’s Ark, illus. for Susan Collins Thomas (Sterling 2013); Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree (2014)

“I walk around in my neighborhood with a sketchbook. And I meditate in my studio to be present. I’m trying to bring out the five-year old in people through my artwork. Because I believe that is the last moment before children start learning how complicated the world is, and that was when I once stopped drawing. It took me decades to come back to myself. Now? Here I am drawing everyday!” –(bio) 

{images/text belongs to Naoko Stoop}

 

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