I Am Smoke by Henry Herz

Something a little different today. Picture book author, Henry Herz has a new book out.

I AM SMOKE is a spare, lyrical, “autobiographical” account of the life cycle and beneficial uses of smoke across the globe and throughout the ages. The creative nonfiction picture book offers science, history, and global cultural studies appeal to young readers.

Smoke speaks in mesmerizing riddles: “I lack a mouth, but I can speak. I lack hands, but I can push out unwanted guests. I’m gentler than a feather, but I can cause harm.” When smoke speaks, its messages swirl and shift like smoke itself—playful, challenging, devious. Smoke has been borne aloft from flames, and its elements returned to earth, since before recorded time. Its cycles never end. Smoke was here before us. It helps us when we’re wise but hurts us when we’re careless. Do not treat me lightly, it seems to warn.

This rhythmically powerful narration is complemented by illustrations in which swirling smoke was captured on art paper held over smoky candle flames, and the dancing smoke textures were then deepened and elaborated with watercolors and Photoshop finishes. With this unique method, illustrator Merce López “let the smoke decide how the idea I had in mind would dance with it, giving freedom to the images.” The resulting illustrations are astounding, and they resonate with the otherworldly text.

Check it out on Henry’s website — HENRYHERZ.COM

Also check out this all-genre book fair