Monday, November 24, 2008
What's Better than Buying Books for the Holidays?
On the one hand, I am tempted to say NOTHING. Nothing beats buying books. Especially picture books (in my case). But... I am actually buying something that might possibly be just a schmoot better. Ready? Picture book art! And boy am I excited!
My husband and I decided we want to start collecting art from picture books. And we knew exactly where we wanted our first piece to come from-- the brilliant book, That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown, by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton.
Emily Brown has so much fun going on wild adventures with her rabbit, Stanley, that the Queen becomes envious and decides she wants that Bunnywunny no matter what the cost. She sends in her Chief Footman to offer Emily a bribe, which Emily of course declines. Escalate- repeat. Escalate-repeat. Escalate-repeat. At which point, the Queen sends her Special Commandos in to kidnap him. Emily confronts the Queen and demands that she give Stanley back, but she does explain how the Queen can end up with beloved "Stanley" of her own.
This story is so tightly structured that I would use it if I ever taught a picture book writing class. But more than that, it is incredibly charming for both kids and adults. The art is a spectacular combination of collage, pen and ink, and watercolor. We all love it at our house! (Though it would definitely be funnier if I could read it with a British accent)