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Red Knit Cap Girl - Naoko Stoop Charming illustrations on plywood, with color and composition the strong features throughout the whole book. (My own children love this spare style, harking to both Japanese and Scandinavian illustration). Consistent choices in design (typeface and composition) by Saho Fujii and Neil Swaab. I tried to find the Aram Caps title font online, but it's only in the pay sets. Points for the professionals using the toolkit!

Hmmm. The wise old owl as a device, and his reappearance under the word 'suddenly'? I don't know. Is a deus ex machina needed in this story? Also it felt odd that the forest group had created the distracting light mid-story, but the problem was set up before these lights were even there. All this, of course, helped deconstruct the back-to-nature message. This is conflicting, because I like the message--but I'm always pleased when a moral message in a picture book unravels so quickly.

Things became clearer when I read the author blurb on the end flap, and realized how Naoko Stoop was reworking an autobiographical moment.