What do mushrooms, strange creatures and farts have in common? They are just three of the delightful things that author/illustrator Elise Gravel peppers throughout her weird and wonderful books for children. Elise Gravel illustrates and writes books on many topics and in multiple genres: fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels. Her creations use a mixture of hand-drawn text and stylized, whimsical drawings that reveal an earnest curiosity for the world around her. Gravel's books are often written as observational diaries that communicate her fascination with commonplace yet strange animals and plants. Through her drawings, Gravel transforms gross and icky things into adorable things that entertain and inform young readers.
If what I've written about Elise Gravel has peaked your interest then I suggest you take a look at the following books.
The Toad is part of a non-fiction series of picture books highlighting disgusting critters. This book mixes education facts about toads with silly comic observation. The blend of factual information and humor is a brilliant way to introduce young readers to biological science concepts.
Adopt A Glurb
Glurbs are mischievous little creatures that can make great pets, but you must be knowledgeable about them in order to care for them properly. For example, glurbs like to eat dirty socks, they play soccer with chick peas and they love to dance to jazz music! Does owning a glurb sound like fun to you? If you said yes, then Adopt A Glurb is the perfect resource for learning about these unusual critters.
Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere
Olga loves science and animals. So what does she do when a bizarre animal that looks like a cross between an blobfish and guinea pig shows up, seemingly out of no where? She gets down to work using the scientific method to learn about her amazing discovery! Olga starts out as loner, but along the way she enlists the help of some quirky friends to ask the important questions. What does it eat? Where does it come from? Why is it so smelly? Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere is a fantastic pick for young readers who like stories featuring independent and intelligent girls!
The Mushroom Fan Club
The Mushroom Fan Club is an introductory deep dive into the fascinating kingdom of fungi. Elise Gravel's enthusiasm for the subject shines through in this non-fiction picture book for children. This book is filled interesting details about mushrooms and charming illustrations that are mostly scientifically accurate—the mushrooms all have mouths and eyes! This book really brings the subject to life and is sure to inspire budding mycologists to be on the lookout for mushrooms.