I only had brief moments with my lolo (grandpa) when I was a kid and it was a blurry memory, but I remember that he made an impression that he was a simple happy man. My other lolo however, I have no idea who he was because he passed away even before I was born. It's also sad that there are not much photos of them anymore, afaik. I might have to dig some vintage photo albums in the province for that.
Fortunately, there's now a children's book that celebrate our often ignored lolos and so that we can rekindle our best memories with them: Ang mga Lambing ni Lolo Ding (roughly translated, The Sweetness of Grandpa Ding), story by Michael Coroza and illustrated by Maurice Risulmi, published by Adarna House. It's a poignant but endearing story about memory and death.
For me, what really makes this children's book special aside from its theme that courageously deal with death, is the illustration's creative use of lighting. The illustrator is very adept at rendering an ambiance that captures a realistic yet dramatic lighting.
The painterly style of the illustrations rendered digitally also effectively creates a personal connection with the viewer. In fact, the digital medium is barely noticeable. The illustrations are warm and "human" despite it was made with a machine. It makes you wonder and look closer if it's really painted from a computer, unlike a Pixar or Disney animated film. For me, this is how digital media should work seamlessly in art and illustration.
The settings are nostalgic of my childhood, especially on this scene. I can easily relate to this because we used to have fun playing on the streets with my siblings. I'm not sure if some (sheltered) kids still have the privilege to do that now since our streets are becoming dangerous.
The strength of the illustrator is his ability to clearly render characters with unusual expressions. The spread above best exemplify this skill. This is also one of my favorite scenes.