If you don’t know who John Butler is in the world of children’s illustrators/authors, believe me…you’re missing out! I stumbled across a John Butler book a few years ago called Can You Cuddle Like A Koala? and I was simply amazed by this book. John Butler’s words are sweet and endearing, the book’s message is lovely…but the illustrations are easily the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in a picture book. The animals look just like they’re supposed to when it comes to realism, but Butler’s use of color, light, and shadow make these illustrations into gorgeous art.
So needless to say, I’m a big John Butler fan! I always love seeing a new book of his come into the Library, but what astounded me the other day was that I missed one! You should have seen my face when I stumbled across this particular book…I was pulling books for a school visit and I wanted to take another John Butler book, Ten in the Meadow, with me because I know kids like it and my preschoolers would enjoy the illustrations and the story. So imagine my surprise (and slack-jawed face!) when I saw a relatively new John Butler book that had slipped past me!
What was the book?
I will admit: this is probably now my new favorite John Butler book. Bedtime in the Jungle is a stunning book taking its text inspiration from the song “Over in the Meadow”. The soft, dreamy text will easily calm any young child before bedtime and the soothing shades and shadows in the illustrations are lush and beautiful without being overwhelming. This is an excellent choice for a bedtime or naptime story. I’ve always described Butler’s illustrations as “way too realistic” in the positive sense that when you look at them, you almost think you could touch the page and feel the bear’s fur, the owl’s feathers, or the leaves hanging from the trees. The texture and shading are simply fantastic and the details rich. He even manages to make wild pigs and crocodiles look not as fearsome as they would in real life with his masterful use of colors and lines.
And best of all, we have more of John Butler’s books if you’re looking for some wonderful stories and amazing illustrations! I did a John Butler display last year and we couldn’t keep his books on the shelves! Not only did I have to order copies of Butler’s books from other branches to fill the display, we managed to have customers like you check out every single one of his books we had in the entire library system! So again, if you’re not familiar with John Butler, check our catalog, give us a call, or stop in to your favorite Library!