The first is 'Flotsam' by David Wiesner. It's lush is what it is, there are no words and the story is told through pictures and the illustrations are beautiful. Wiesner has done a fantastic job with the colours and there is such imagination in each of the underwater scenes. I love the idea of picture books with no words, it allows you to really aim the story to a particular age group, plus you have the fun of making up different stories & it also gives the younglings a chance to flex their creativity. Dude - everyones happy! I love the way the pictures unfold the story - basic story is that a boy finds an underwater camera washed up on the beach - they just make the story come alive. Flotsam won The Caldecott Medal in 2006.
The other book was 'Mama's Favorite' by Brigitte Sidjanski & Sarah E. Burg. This book explores living in a big family and "opens the door for discussion on sibling rivalry & jelousy". It's told through mouse characters and some really gorgeous illustration, the colours are quite muted & look like they're done with pastels - which in no way detracts from the illustrations. It's an easy story to read, with only a few lines on each page. Sidjanski founded North-South Books with her husband and quite a lot of their books deal with 'issues' and they are always so beautifully illustrated and presented.
I love junior picture books in general - they (most of the time), have fantastic illustrations, lush colour and some tell the story in the funniest ways. A very funny series of books that I love are the 'Pigeon' books - 'Don't let the pigeon drive the bus', 'Don't let the pigeon stay up late'. Hilarious!! Check them out.