American author illustrator Brian Floca celebrates his birthday on the 11th January. He won the Caldecott Medal in 2014 for his detailed, but beautiful nonfiction book Locomotive. The books he both writes and illustrates seem to be about transport and things that he says he was interested in as a child, but he has also illustrated picture books for other authors. My favourite is Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox. This story is based on a true story about Elizabeth, an elephant seal who keeps coming ashore in Christchurch, New Zealand and lies on the road and no matter how far away the boats take her she keeps coming back. It makes me smile and the children I have read it to love it. And thirdly, he illustrates chapter books. This began while he was studying under illustrator, David Macaulay who introduced him to the author Avi. This led to Floca illustrating all six of the Poppy books, wonderful stories about Poppy, a mouse, and her friend, Ereth, a porcupine as well as other more recent books also written by Avi. There is a very informative interview with Brian here.
Look for picture books by Brian Floca:
• The Racecar Alphabet
• Five Trucks
Picture books illustrated by Brian Floca:
• Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox
• Ballet for Martha by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
• The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan
Chapter book series:
• Max and Mo a set of early readers by Patricia Lakin about two hamsters who live in the art room at a school.
• The Tales from Dimwood Forest series of six books about a mouse called Poppy, and her family's problems with the owl Mr Ocax.
• Marty McGuire a series of books about third grade tomboy Marty written by Kate Messner and ideal for middle grade readers.