Friday, March 16, 2007

Favorite Artists

I really love children's books. Really. I love the simple stories, the unabashed sentimentality, and especially the beautiful illustrations. I realized recently that illustrators of children's books are among my favorite artists. I don't know much about current artists; I don't know who is "big" right now and who isn't; and I wouldn't have a clue which pieces were significant at an art auction or gallery. But I love the work of some illustrators. I guess this is because I am reading a lot of children's books these days, and they are pretty much all heavily illustrated. (I'm reading to a toddler.) In other words, that is the art that I am seeing the most of. And it is beautiful. Richard Scarry, Jan Brett, Eloise Wilkin (I think she is my favorite), Garth Williams...they are tremendous artists.

I recently learned that my pastor's wife collects children's books. I thought this was a great idea. (My husband will groan when he reads this.) What a fantastic thing to collect! Of course, for the next many years I'll be able to gather children's books for my own children, so I don't really need to "collect" them at this time. I am so delighted by the many sweet and beautiful books that are out there. Of course, as with all genres of books, there are a lot of trashy books out there as well. They're pretty easy to spot, though. Like this. And you have to be careful about what you buy, because a lot of children's books authors - especially celebrity authors - donate a portion (or all) of the sales proceeds to charities, which is great, but you want to be careful about what you're supporting with your purchase. Madonna's The English Roses proceeds, for example, benefit this.

These are two books that I have particularly enjoyed and admired lately:

You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusimano
How Do I Love You? by P.K. Hallinan

And here are a couple of Elise's favorites:

Crazy Caterpillars by Sue Whiting
God Bless by Stephanie Longfoot


The Krunchy Krab said...

The reality is that dogs do indeed fart. Everyone knows that. Even my sister farts. I think it is admirable that someone had the integrity to be honest about such a hard hitting issue in their book. If I ever have a yard sale, I would rather have a farting dog guarding it than a fierce dog who can be bought off with meat. Throw meat to a farting dog and he still farts.

Bob said...

N.M. Bodecker is my favourite children's artist.