Ten writers for children. All with something to say.



We're blogging about illustrations this time around.

Marla Frazee is one of my favorite illustrators (along with Trina Schart Hyman, Don Wood, Leo and Diane Dillon, and many others). I love the way she is able to capture characters' emotions with just the right facial expression or body position. I also love her attention to detail. Her book Roller Coaster is a seemingly simple story about a young girl's first ride on a coaster, but in reality the book is many different stories about all the different occupants of the ride and their very different experiences. These characters never say anything, but their facial expressions tell it all. It's a book I never tire of looking at.

In her Caldecott Honor book, All the World, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, she depicts the wonderful diversity that makes up the world. One of my favorite illustrations shows the inside of a restaurant. Two men are sitting at one of the tables. When I saw this illustration, I almost cried.

Male couples are never shown in children's books, unless it is a book specifically about gay families. The two men in the picture might very well be brothers or friends, but just the possibility that they could be a gay couple made my heart swell. As the last line of the book says, "All the world is all of us." Thank you, Marla, for including people like me in the world.


Christy said...

I love her work, too, David. Marla was a speaker at the MAZZA Museum fall conference a few years ago. There were seven or eight of us children's book illustrators invited to speak, but I particularly loved listening to her talk about her process. This was before All the World was published. Marla shared many images in development. All the World is a very moving, satisfying book. And you are so right, EVERYBODY should be able to find themselves pictured in picture books.

Stephanie said...

I really like her books. You picked some great illustrations to share and I loved what you had to say. I agree with Christy, everyone should be able to find themselves in a picture book:)

Edie Hemingway said...

David, I find these illustrations very appealing, as well as the sentiments in the books. And what a wonderful thought that everyone should be able to find himself/herself in a picture book.