FJOD

For Just One Day

For Just One Day by Laura Leuck, illustrated by Marc Boutavant.

For just one day, I’d like to be

A busy, buzzing bumble…BEE!

What child can’t relate to that? Heck, even I can.

{My cousin Mollie once said she wanted to be a tree when she grew up. She’s an elementary school teacher now. Rooted, solid, and embracing.}

ELEMENT OF DESIGN: PROPORTION

Closely related to balance, proportion signifies the relative sizes and weights of graphical elements on a page or a spread. This includes all art, text, and white space. Proportion can obviously refer to equally or unequally weighted elements, and different layouts are appropriate in different situations. For Just One Day is doing some interesting things with proportion on each spread. For this, kudos to illustrator Marc Boutavant and any other book designers involved on this project.

{Of course, they had brilliant words to illustrate written by Laura Leuck. I love the picture book as a whole, words PLUS pictures. It’s a beautiful success when matched so perfectly.}

Because of the guessing game nature of this book, the pattern naturally falls with the ‘answer’ on the left hand page and the next ‘question’ on the right. The stanzas are not related to each other and therefore their illustrations can be disconnected a bit, though never at the expense of overall harmony in the body of art.

The left hand page is rich with color and texture and a singular word created in hand drawn typography. These animal pages have incredible detail and quirky moments. A porcupine resting in a tree, writing in her journal? Sure.

A pink guitar playing porcupine writing fan mail to her Justin Bieber? YES.

The right page shows the narrator, always a round faced and wide eyed child, pondering his next choice. On this page, plenty of white space is left for the type to live and breathe and rest. The focus is the character, though unexpected details hop in as well.

An awake and blonde haired young’n, resisting sleep? Sure.

A crew of playful mice ignoring bedtime just above his head? YES. (And hey! Today’s Picture Book Month theme is MICE!)

But back to each spread as one piece. The intentional differences on either side of the gutter create stunning proportion, which increases the visual interest of For Just One Day.

And spoiler alert: Pick the spinach out of your teeth and run a brush through your hair before you sit down to read this one. Just sayin’. You’ll see.

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