Happy Birthday David Wiesner! In honor of this Caldecott winner's birthday I thought I would reach back and recommend one that I have always loved. It is a bit of scary and somber book that is probably not suited for the very young but I find it a great read aloud with wonderful illustrations.
Night of the Gargoyles written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by David Wiesner is a magical story of statues coming to life. According to the publisher it is meant for ages 9 and up but there are a few younger children I know who can handle this kind of scariness. I have always been fascinated by gargoyles. There have been quite a few books about gargoyles for children through the years, even a series or two, but this has always been my favorite. I think because I have always liked fantasy I loved the idea of magical creatures coming to life after the sun goes down. Growing up and visiting NYC with my father I marveled at the statues on the uppermost floors of old buildings. Even when I worked in the city I loved to look at the buildings across from mine with their fearsome sculptures standing watch. I love the rhythm of Eve Buntings words which make it a great story time book. Most of all I love the illustrations. The mere fact they are black and white charcoal drawings makes them timeless. The detail is amazing and wondrous. I have always loved his artwork but this holds a special place in my heart. This is a book for all ages and a must for anyone who loves mystery and fantasy in their lives.