Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

2/5/13

Caldecott contender

Wishing success and recognition to one book does not wish away the same for another. I was disappointed last month when Ashley Wolff's much discussed Baby Bear Sees Blue did not take home the Caldecott medal or even an honor. That bear is blue.

I have admired Ashley's signature blend of graphic linocuts and glowing watercolors since the mid-80s, which marked the beginning of her illustration career and my first publishing job as a design assistant at E.P. Dutton, her publisher at the time. I myself like to work in both linoleum cuts and watercolor and I was in awe of Ashley's skills. Ashley has had a long successful career and shown she can work well in many mediums. Her first instinct, to combine print and paint, has remained my favorite. Ashley brings a sweetness and richness to the page. She composes scenes with close-ups for a sense of intimacy, and then pulls back up for glorious scenic views.
There is a wonderful cadence to the text and surprise on each page turn. Ashley is a master at picture book form. Baby Bear Sees Blue needed a blue ribbon!

I look forward to watching Ashley create many more winners. I'm especially lucky because after many years of admiring her work, when I moved to California I got to know Ashley personally, and better yet we are in the same critique group!

4 comments:

Lauren said...

I love Baby Bear Sees Blue, and like you Christy, was surprised and saddened that it did not take home any medals this year.

How wonderful that the two of you have become friends and can share each other's work in progress!

Stephanie said...

I love the illustrations in that book. It was on a lot of prediction lists, I was surprised too.

David LaRochelle said...

It looks gorgeous!

Edie Hemingway said...

These illustrations are delightful! I'm sorry it wasn't recognized in this year's medal list.