Bond graduated with a degree from the University of Texas-Austin so she hails from the state where I grew up. She lived in New York for many years, which is where a great many children's book authors and illustrators seem to gravitate, but now resides in New Mexico with her family (and a horse named Twister!) Her own personal favorite illustrators are Charles Schultz (Peanut fame) and Ludwig Bemelmans. (I wrote about Bemelmans before and if you click on his full name it will take you to my previous post.)
She is no doubt best known for her watercolor illustrations that she created to bring to life Laura Numeroff's "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..." series. In fact, I didn't realize until our last visit to the library that Bond is an author in her own right. We picked up four of her titles (well, it turns out that I only picked up three stories, although four different titles!) and enjoyed each one. These are the ones that we found:
Tumble Bumble has had multiple readings here in the Reading My Library household! It starts out with a little ant who is going on a walk. Along the way he picks up a multitude of friends - nine to be exact. It is told in rhyme which you know children love best.
"A tiny bug went for a walk.
He met a cat and stopped to talk.
They fell in step and strolled awhile,
and bumped into a crocodile."
And so on and so forth. The illustrations are typically cute Bond-style. In fact, it wasn't until these new animal friends bumped into the pig that I clued in - as the pig had a remarkably familiar look to it. This is a very cute story about friendship, animals, and counting from one to ten. Highly recommended.
The Day it Rained Hearts was apparently reissued by Laura Geringer Books which is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers and was given a new title to boot! It was originally released by HarperTrophy with the title Four Valentines in a Rainstorm, which is technically more accurate to the storyline but not as cute as The Day it Rained Hearts, me thinks. In either case, this book tells the story of Cornelia Augusta who went outside the day it rained hearts and caught some. With the hearts she has caught, she creates perfectly decorated Valentines to give to her animal friends. This is a GREAT Valentine's book and I'm certainly intending to snag a copy for our own home library in time for next year's V-Day celebrations. Cute and charming. But isn't that what you expect from Bond? Her illustrations are just so....cuddly and friendly!
Lastly, our library had a copy of Wake Up, Vladimir that I brought home. THIS book is perfect for Groundhog Day. You should know though that Vladimir decides to run away from home because he doesn't want to sleep away the winter with his parents. However, despite the fact that youngsters rail against sleep, eventually their bodies tell them that they simply must give in. Vladimir ends up sleeping the winter away, despite his earlier protestations. When spring comes he pops out of his hole and is scarred by a "monster" (which I called a 'creature' as I have explained before.) He hurries back to his parents and they celebrate the fact that winter is over.
This wasn't my favorite story and I did tweak it in parts. Still, my son really liked the book because the groundhog's name was Vladimir which he thought was "a very silly name!" and made him giggle and chuckle his way through. So there you have it.
Vladimir the groundhog.
Felicia Bond, illustrator AND author.
To learn more about her, you might want to check out this interview with Felicia Bond.
Here for your convince is a list of Felicia Bond books.
NOW I will recognize her work on sight and will definitely be scouring bookshelves to seek her out. Hopefully you'll find a few to enjoy yourselves. Fun stuff!