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.
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!