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Archive for January 24th, 2014

by Sam Juliano

Friday afternoon’s post will focus on the most recent works of three picture book veterans who are rightly considered among the greatest artists of all-time.  Each have won endless accolades and adoration for their work, and in fact have been multiple winners of Caldecott recognition dating back to 1969.  Though the plan in this series originally was to examine one book for each post, I have decided to combine three books to allow for wider overall coverage.   I will be doing that one time tomorrow during the afternoon post.  In any case all three books certainly rate as among the best of 2013, each has a fervent fan base, and every one extends the legendary output of their venerated masters with yet another work of art.  The fact that they are being considered together is not meant to slight any of them, but rather to extend the celebration of a remarkable year in picture books and illustration. (more…)

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by Sam Juliano

Every once in a while a picture book appears that leaves you awe-struck and joyous at the future prospects of the medium.  Such an example is Lizi Boyd’s wordless picture book Inside Outside, an organic, die-cut work painted in gauche on light brown kraft paper.  The last time die-cut picture books made an impact in the children’s book community was well over a decade ago when Simms Taback won a Caldecott Medal in 2000 for Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, after winning a Caldecott Honor two years prior for There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  Both books are colorful and generally appealing and demonstrated that a gimmick could be effectively incorporated in the telling of the story, while adorning it with illustrative depth.  The die-cuts in Inside Outside are far more integral to the story than just to serve as aesthetic adornment, in fact with the changing of the seasons they are the most vital pictorial component in extraordinarily beautiful picture book that is certain to win over new converts to the form, even though who steadfastly cling to the delusion that picture books are much too juvenile to appreciate. (more…)

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