Not being a great artist, I feel most confident in my crayon and colored pencil skills. Maybe that is why the illustrations in BECAUSE AMELIA SMILED by David Ezra Stein appeal to me.
According to the copyright page, "The illustrations were done in pencil, water soluble crayon, and watercolor." The young readers on the story steps always like to know that information, if it is available.
The story begins with a close-up of young girl and her family. "Because Amelia smiled, coming down the street...Mrs. Higgins smiled, too." The plot progresses with cause-and-effect circumstances. Mrs. Higgins bakes cookies for her grandson who shares them with his class in which one student decides to teach others kickboxing...and through numerous events, a man in New York City releases his pigeons from the rooftop. Amelia sees them and smiles.
Most interesting to me has been how the phrase "old flame" is unknown to the children. When an ex-clown riding under a Parisian bridge hears a rumba band, he is transported in time. "Their love song "Con Corazon Intacto" reminded him of his old flame, the Amazing Phyllis, who lived in Positano, Italy." Many listeners thought it meant a fire that had burned for some time!