Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wings of an Artist: Children’s Book Illustrator’s Talk about their art

Wings of an Artist: Children’s Book Illustrator’s Talk about their art

Introduction by Julie Cummins, Activity Guide by Barbara Kiefer
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 9 and up
Abrams, 1999   ISBN: 978-0810945524

We are going to meet twenty-three children"s book illustrators who are going to share with us some of their thoughts about their art. Some of them are going to tell us how they become children"s book illustrators. Others tells us how it is that they "found" art as a way to express themselves and how art allows them to communicate who they are. Others tell the story of their lives, describing how they could not help drawing or painting and how becoming an artist seemed as natural as breathing.

For little William Joyce, who liked to "pretend I was from another planet and had super powers" art class was one of the few things in school that he enjoyed. He also loved to read and after reading "Where the Wild Things Are" he decided he wanted to be a writer. So now, as a children"s book author and illustrator, he can create characters who come from another planet and have super powers as much as he likes.

Graeme Base explains that he loves to draw all the wonderful things that he sees in nature. After going scuba diving for the first time Graeme was inspired to create the book "The Sign of the Sea Horse". He saw so many wonderful things underwater that he could not help himself " he had to paint.

This wonderful book will give young readers a very personal window into the hearts and minds of some of the world"s most beloved children"s book illustrators. They will find out why Leo and Diane Dillon portray Mother Goose going about in a flying machine, and they will see a unique Sendak doodle. They will see how Robert Sabuda relates to his tools that he uses, and they will find out how Richard Egielski began his love affair with art materials.

Wonderful illustrations - most of which were created just for this book - and inspiring texts make this a one-of-a-kind volume. In addition to the main section of the book there is an activity section at the back which young readers and their grown ups will find both interesting and engaging. In all there are eleven activities which use the book to explore the world of art in all kinds of ways.