Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Karen's Picks!

Even with the tremendous amount of preparation for our Children’s Book Illustration Art Show, this is my favorite time of year! Enchantment, excitement & emotions abound! It is always fun to see which books & illustrations are most popular and the adoring fans’ reactions.

The overall theme of this year’s books & illustrations seems to be “Let’s get serious.” Unintentionally, so many of our books are biographical & historical, portraying scientists to sports figures and slavery to the design of the Statue of Liberty. Don’t worry, we have books and illustrations that will just make you smile, too!

Before I give you my picks, I just want to say our illustrators are the nicest, most creative, most giving people on the planet! And, we are so excited to be partnering with The Wooden Floor as our beneficiary. And, thanks to all our volunteers, both personal friends and Chapman University associates!

Helen's Big World, illustrated by Matt Tavares
Let’s talk Matt Tavares We have no illustrations from his newest book, Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller, but I love the way the book is written and laid out. It has decorative endpapers (Barbara Sproat that is for you!), teaches letters of the alphabet in sign language and has inspirational quotes by Helen. It is a must read.

Liberty's Hands, mixed media by Matt Tavares
The illustrations for Lady Liberty, the story of the idea and construction, are nothing short of extraordinary. The book isn’t half bad either. My favorite piece from this book shows the construction of Lady Liberty’s hand.  Starting with the wood structure and spiraling up the arm. The detail and architecture is exquisite.

Cat and Chick, Prismacolor and watercolor by Chris Sheban
Something about Chris Sheban makes you wonder how he gets such depth, emotion and life in his watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her to Fly is a wonderful chapter books with thoughtful black & white illustrations. This image shown here is the cover of the paperback book & is shown in black & white in the hardback. Sorry, it’s sold already… but you must come see how the eyes look real and the fabulous frame we put on it.

Watching Western, Prismacolor and watercolor by Chris Sheban
 I can’t stop thinking about this illustration from Night on the Range. The book is adorable but this stand- alone image is something to behold. It is little boy through and through. The magic of the young cowboy’s fascination with the T.V. and the glow around his body makes you want to giddyup and go. Pardner, you gotta come see this framing, too!

Sylvia Long's Mother Goose
Lovingly Sylvia Long Remember all those wonderful Mother Goose poems your mom read to you and then you read to your kids and grandkids? They are all beautifully compiled in Sylvia’s treasury. Vivid in color and filled with fantasy, they are full of life.

A Butterfly is a Traveler, watercolor by Sylvia Long
If you would rather learn something or teach a lesson, A Butterfly is Patient will fill that bill. This book explains the life cycle of the butterfly in breath-taking fashion. Great for little kids because of the beautiful pictures and good for a little older with its scientific interpretation. This picture of the field of butterflies is harmony in motion.

Across the Alley, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Emotions flow with E. B. Lewis Almost every book we have of E.B.’s is chock full of life’s lessons and sensitivity. The book that speaks to me is Across the Alley. It’s a book about a Jewish boy & African American boy who live across the alley from one another. They learn from each other and more importantly their families learn from them. It makes me teary just to type these words.

Laying on Beach, watercolor by E.B. Lewis

On the lighter side is The Secret World of Walter Anderson. It’s true story about the artist and his very private life. These watercolor illustrations and the one shown here, in particular, remind me so much of Andrew Wyeth in both the coloring and style. I just want to relax right next to Walter and gaze into the evermore.

At Blackboard, pen and ink by Boris Kulikov

Boldly Boris Kulikov First of all, I’ve always wanted Albert Einstein, to be my grandfather. So, how could I not choose both the book, Giants of Science: Albert Einstein, and this quintessential illustration of Albert at the blackboard? It calls to me with it's sweet scientific notation.

Pushing Baby Bugy, mixed media by Boris Kulikov
I love Boris’ bright array of colors and the way he combines them in his fanciful illustrations.  This illustration from Castle on Hester Street is a patchwork of color, personality and history. The way Boris combines the old world with the new delights the senses in this whimsical illustration.

Only one and a half weeks to select your favorite book or illustration! 
We hope to see you on Dec 1st 1-5pm, if not before.

Don’t forget, authors Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, will be signing along-side Boris Kulikov. And, we are so fortunate that Kathleen will be doing a dramatic reading of Fartiste, the hysterical true story of a Frenchman!

Woo-hoo! We’re almost there!

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