On a more upbeat, and slightly more abstract, book note, here's Coppernickel Goes Mondrian, an "artist tribute" featuring Keepvogel, a hoodie-wearing bird character created by the Dutch animator Wouter van Reek.
Coppernickel/Keepvogel is apparently famous in Holland. The bird, his dog Tungsten, and some other bird and his dog, all head out into a Mondrian-inspired world in search of "the future." Which, you know, you'd think it'd be enough if the kid had a grasp on the concept of night and day, much less tomorrow or Wednesday.
But anyway, it was really this sentence that hooked me:
When Wouter discovered that Mondrian had written a piece about modern art in the shape of a walk from the country to the city, he knew what he had to do.That's a great image to me [Yet I can't find Mondrian's actual text. Anyone know where/what it is?] And a story about excitedly moving towards a bright, bustling, art-filled future will probably go over a helluvalot better at bedtime than a poem about rotten kids and bleeding, flayed skulls, so.
The publisher Enchanted Lion Books says Coppernickel Goes Mondrian is the first in its "Artist Tribute" series, so keep your eye out.