Simple illustrations in kids' books
March 29, 2012 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Children's books with uncluttered, simple illustrations

I'm a grad student in speech language pathology, and my new little friend this quarter has visual processing impairments. She can see just fine, but has trouble organizing and synthesizing visual information; she gets distracted by too many details and colors, and overwhelmed by too much going on in a scene.

I'm looking for books that have fairly simple, clean illustrations. They can be abstract or more iconic. Target age doesn't really matter, as I'll likely manipulate the books for therapy purposes.

Springtime-themes are a plus.
posted by Ideal Impulse to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Older books are good for this. Harry the Dirty Dog, Caps for Sale, Make Way for Ducklings, The Little Engine That Could, Danny and the Dinosaur, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, all the Frances books.

The Big Orange Splot may also work for this - lots of colors but not a lot happening in each picture.
posted by Mchelly at 7:55 AM on March 29, 2012

Anything by Mo Willems! Super simple, super awesome. SO much in that damn pigeon's expressions.
posted by Madamina at 7:57 AM on March 29, 2012 [6 favorites]

Kevin Henkes! A Good Day and Kitten's First Full Moon are favorites in our house. My Garden should be suitably spring-y.
posted by libraryhead at 7:59 AM on March 29, 2012

Eric Carle.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:59 AM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ian Falconer's "Olivia" books may be a help. Mostly black and white, with bright splashes of red; many of the illustrations appear on a plain white background.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:07 AM on March 29, 2012

The Harold and the Purple Crayon series.
posted by drlith at 8:13 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sandra Boynton books might fit the bill.
posted by procrastination at 8:15 AM on March 29, 2012

You absolutely want Mo Williams, but very particularly the Gerald and Piggie books. They are wonderful.
posted by peep at 8:18 AM on March 29, 2012

Is Bryan Barton too simple?
posted by shothotbot at 8:18 AM on March 29, 2012

Anything for under 3s by Helen Oxenbury
posted by mutt.cyberspace at 8:20 AM on March 29, 2012

I Want My Hat Back is a simple, funny story with simple illustrations - lots of white space.
posted by shothotbot at 8:20 AM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

"Moon Plane" and the Fabian and Hondo stories - the author suddenly escapes me. Deceptively simple and just lovely.
posted by nkknkk at 8:21 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's one of the best Piggie books. Note the color-coded thought bubbles.
posted by peep at 8:21 AM on March 29, 2012

nkknkk, it's Peter McCarty.
posted by peep at 8:22 AM on March 29, 2012

Sorry to blanket the thread, but upthread I misspelled Mo Willems. I've read every book a million times but my family is full of Williamses so my fingers can't help but type it.
posted by peep at 8:24 AM on March 29, 2012

The first one that sprang to mind for me was The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:55 AM on March 29, 2012

Dogs by Emily Gravett.
posted by janepanic at 9:03 AM on March 29, 2012

Dick Bruna. The Miffy guy.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:25 AM on March 29, 2012

The Dot and the Line
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:46 AM on March 29, 2012

Press Here, maybe?
posted by ook at 9:51 AM on March 29, 2012

I was just recommended It's Not a Stick. Which I have not yet read, but seems to have sparse yet effective illustrations.
posted by purpletangerine at 10:03 AM on March 29, 2012

Anything by Satoshi Kitamura, especially Cat Is Sleepy.
posted by scruss at 10:07 AM on March 29, 2012

Any of the Shel Silverstein books. They're simple line drawings. Plus the poems are fun and occasionally touching.
posted by inturnaround at 10:14 AM on March 29, 2012

Press Here is fantastic, I just read it last week and it is my new best thing.

The Dot and other books illustrated by Peter Reynolds might be good.

Many awesome chapter books have line-drawing illustrations: Phantom Tollbooth, the Clementine series, nearly everything by Beverly Cleary.
posted by Flannery Culp at 10:21 AM on March 29, 2012

PEOPLE by French illustrator Blexbolex.
posted by D.Billy at 10:38 AM on March 29, 2012

I prefer It's Not a Box, but It's Not a Stick is not a bad choice.

Denise Fleming's work is sometimes very simple, e.g. in Lunch (one of my favorites).

Suzanne Bloom's Bear and Goose (and Fox) books (A Splendid Friend Indeed, Treasure, and What About Fox?) are very simple visually (and textually).

I'd also recommend some of Joost and Freymann's work, particularly Food for Thought and How Are You Peeling?
posted by johnofjack at 12:33 PM on March 29, 2012

Sorry, the authors' names are Joost Elffers and Saxton Freymann, so I had a first name and a last name.
posted by johnofjack at 12:36 PM on March 29, 2012

Check out Leslie Patricelli's books.
posted by puritycontrol at 2:01 PM on March 29, 2012

Thank You Bear is my favourite book.
posted by manyon at 9:04 PM on March 29, 2012

Kipper the Dog books
posted by IndigoJones at 11:29 AM on March 31, 2012

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