Show Me a Story!: Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World's Most Celebrated Illustrators
Leonard S. Marcus
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In compelling interviews by the acclaimed Leonard S. Marcus, twenty-one top authors and illustrators reveal their inside stories on the art of creating picture books.
Max and Mickey; Miss Nelson; Pack, Quack, and Mrs. Mallard; Pigeon; Sylvester; John Henry; and a very hungry caterpillar — these are just a few of the beloved picture book characters discussed in Show Me a Story. Renowned children’s literature authority Leonard S. Marcus speaks with their creators and others — twenty-one of the world’s most celebrated authors and illustrators
— and asks about their childhood, their inspiration, their determination, their mentors, their creative choices, and more. Amplifying these richly entertaining and thought-provoking conversations are eighty-eight full-color plates revealing each illustrator’s artistic process from sketch to near
-final artwork in fascinating, behind-the-scenes detail. Why do children love and need picture books so much? Recasting and greatly expanding on a volume published in 2002 as Ways of Telling, Leonard S. Marcus confirms that picture books matter because they make a difference in our children’s lives.
Shakespeare, for example. Q: How did you meet the first of the German teachers to have a great positive influence on you, Herr Krauss? A: In Germany children went to grammar school for four years, until the age of ten. Then a choice was made — whether you would go on to higher education or become, say, an apprentice mason, or railroad worker, or whatever. If you and your family chose a more advanced education, you would go eight more years to Gymnasium, or high school, which is what I did.
yourself?” He replied that he had not, but that in his own mind he was sure how a devil would look. He proceeded to make all kinds of gestures in order to show me his idea of a devil. From that exchange I realized that there are many invisible things that have never actually existed, but which nonetheless exist in people’s minds as quite specific images. Q: What pictures and images influenced you as a young artist? A: It was thanks to my parents’ inn that as a child I saw all kinds of magazines
with a project for the other department to do. That assignment gave me a chance to think more about illustration, which I was already mildly interested in. Q: As an art student, did you also bump up against abstract expressionism as a force to be reckoned with? A: Oh, yes! In high school my training had all been practical: how to render products, how to use an airbrush, how to do calligraphy. When I got to college one of my painting instructors said to me, “I’m going to break you yet!” I was
and that you’d rather be in than out. Q: As a city child, did you already have a strong feeling for nature? A: I think it’s automatic that kids love nature. I can remember in the Bronx the first time I saw a tomato growing in a lot — a junk lot. Somebody apparently had dropped a tomato there; obviously it was in the garbage. And here was this tomato hanging out on the plant. It was like a revelation to me. When I was a kid there was a lot of natural world around. There were parks; we saw trees.
believable if not exactly correct for made-up bunnies that are sort of bunnies and sort of West Highland white terriers. It’s graphically more pleasing. The “around and around the lobster went” page is very decorative, which hadn’t happened in a Max book before. My way of working also changed. Back then I would first draw a character in pen line. The line and the expression would be all right, but they did not have very good definition because I had never been taught how to vary the thickness of