Thinking outside the book, or why the physical book still has magic in it.
Thursday, February 10, 2011 | By Library Goddess | 1 Comment
Today, two wonderful new children’s books crossed our desk. Both elevate the humble book to art, delighting both the eye and the spirit.
The first is a simple story of two children and their families – one from Australia the other from Morocco – titled Mirror, by Jeannie Baker. Sounds like a trite topic. In the hands of author and illustrator Jeannie Baker the trite becomes magical. There is an introductory text given both in English and Arabic. The rest of the story is told in wonderful pictures – collages Baker created to tell the story of the seemingly vastly different lives of the two main characters.
The key is that Baker tells the stories of the two families side-by-side: the “English” story moves from left to right on one side of the book; the “Arabic” from right to left on the opposite side. You have to see this, hold it in your hands and page through the book to truly appreciate the art – both of the collages and of the construction of the book itself. The pictures here only give you the general idea.
The other book is one I want on my shelves! What fun…
Barney Saltzberg has created a wonderful little book designed to encourage creativity (not just in children!) and a willingness to see a Beautiful Oops! as a new possibility. Saltzberg plays with a torn page and a spill, a bent corner on a piece of paper and a scrap of paper, not to mention the inevitable “little drip of paint,” to create a crocodile or a penguin or a fun playmate.
There are flaps to lift and peek under and pages to turn to see what happens to the “oops.” Exploring the hole in a paper is the best, in my estimation!
More photos are over on our Flickr page.