Show Me a Story!: Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World's Most Celebrated Illustrators (Hardcover)
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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.
About the Author
Leonard S. Marcus is one of the world’s leading writers about children’s books and their illustrations. His many books include The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy; Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy; Dear Genius; and others. His essays, interviews, and reviews appear in the New York Times Book Review, among other publications. About Show Me a Story!, he says, “Our favorite picture books speak to us at the start of life and continue to speak to us for the rest of our lives. I find that an amazing achievement.” Leonard S. Marcus lives in Brooklyn.
These discussions of the relationship between artists’ lives and the stories they produce, preferences regarding medium or style, and the unique confluences of circumstance, market and passion are indubitably worthwhile.
Eighty-eight plates round out the engaging portraits and take readers through the creative process from early sketch to finished piece. Artistically inclined teens will find much to inspire them here, but they are not the obvious audience. Rather, these compelling interviews—and foreword by David Weisner—will reinforce what teachers, librarians, and parents already know: picture books matter.
Along with the artists’ eloquent musings on their sources of inspiration, Marcus’s disarming queries elicit a fine array of revealing experiences, methods of working, and motivations for illustrating for children.
—The Horn Book
Marcus is the master of asking questions, most often dealing with childhood and the discovery of artistic talent, that invite deep and detailed responses. Thus, information and insights shared by the interviewed artists are revealing and sometimes unexpected.Who knew that in her youth Vera Williams was truly a free spirit, that Sir Quentin Blake is now a Knight of the Realm, or that Maurice Sendak is such a fragile and tortured soul?
This volume provides inspiration and insight into the creative process.
—School Library Journal
Could be considered like chatting with your favorite American children's book authors while gathered around the kitchen table. And oh, the stories they'll tell.
Along with Sendak, 20 other artists discuss in these pages their work, their childhoods and their years of creative development. In the process, we get some endearing insights into the origins of certain much-beloved books.
—The Wall Street Journal