Monday, July 13, 2009
The Art of Reading
The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary. With a Foreword by Leonard S. Marcus. 2005. Dutton (Penguin).
This is a book for those with curious minds. It asks forty illustrators to talk about which books in their lives have inspired them. Sounds simple, but how would you choose just one? (That's what I'd like to know.) But what is the book like? Well, each artist is given two pages. One page for an illustration--at times this is an "inspired-by" piece. And a second page for text--a paragraph or two for talking about reading, drawing, and imagination. Who was inspired by The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe? Pat Cummings. Who was inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? Robert Sabuda. Who was inspired by Harold and the Purple Crayon? That would be Bryan Collier. It was interesting to me--and it may be to you as well--to see that novels (both children's novels and more adult titles even) can inspire potential artists just as much as picture books. (For example, The Outsiders inspired David Diaz; The Martian Chronicles inspired Brian Selznick; 2001 A Space Odyssey inspired David Wiesner.) I also loved that this book conveyed passion and enthusiasm. It was a book that showed people excited about reading, about books.
I also want to mention that this is a great browsing-type book. If you like art--no matter your age--you'll probably enjoy the illustrations in this one. It features artists paying tribute to their favorite books. So you'll see art that is inspired by particular books.
Which books have 'inspired' you in your life?
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews