Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers Re-imagine Picture Books

Picture books can be more fun than a trip to the park sometimes, especially if they are visually appealing and playful. Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers take the playful to a whole new level. Freymann carves fruits and vegetables into appealing characters with bean eyes and big, friendly smiles. He and Elffers then group the plants to look as though they are interacting and photograph them against primary colors.

The end result is a book that is fun to read to even the smallest children repeatedly. They have 8 books to their name: ‘One Lonely Seahorse’, ‘Food Play‘,’ Dr. Pompo’s Nose’,’ Gus and Button’,’ Dog Food’,’Baby Food’, ‘Fast Food’,’Food For Thought’, ‘Play With Your Pumpkins’, and ‘How are You Peeling?’

I can personally attest that the last book is a great book for toddlers. They will love the oranges with smiles and the radishes positioned so that they appear to be talking. It describes emotions and depicts the expressions on the fruit and vegetables. Even children who are not particularly inclined to sit still will love it.

Teachers have incorporated it into their curriculum for it’s gentle message of accepting your feelings and expressing them with words. The other books are similarly sweet and colorful. There is one about transportation (there’s a zucchini car) and another one about phrases involving dogs. ‘Dog Food’ and ‘How are You Peeling’ both received the New York Times Best Illustrated Books award. Elffers and Freymann have won the National Parenting Publications award and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold award.

Joost Elffers and Saxton Freymann have been creating these vivid, beautiful works since 1996, when Freymann heard that Elffers was looking for someone to collaborate on a food-carving project. Freymann has since created plenty of other food art. His work ‘Food For Thought’ covers all the main concepts a child needs to learn and he has posted his work for grown-ups online. Share his work with your children and watch the fun grow.