Nest, by Jorey Hurley ’96 (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The author: A designer and illustrator, Hurley studied art at Princeton and design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. From 2005 to 2010, she was on the design team at Hable Construction, a textile design company based in New York. Though not new to illustrating, this is her first book. She says that her inspiration comes from animals, plants, and the beauty in daily life.
The book: Inspired by the birds in the plum tree outside Hurley’s window, this picture book for children follows the first year in the life of a robin, as its parents raise it from egg to adulthood.
Each episode in the life of this family of robins is told primarily through illustration, with just a single word on each page spread. The images are simple, with flat, sharply delineated areas of color, and the robins’ red breasts stand out against the changing seasons.
Reviews: Publishers Weekly called Nest “a handsome, disciplined debut.” Hurley “lets her bright, clean illustrations do her storytelling.” School Library Journal gave it a starred review: “Every page resonates with a vision that is both ethereal and quotidian. … Nest’s beauty and originality will stand up to countless re-readings.” The New York Times wrote that it is “certain to please aesthetically minded children and adults.”