October 11, 2016
The Scraps Book by Lois Ehlert
“Don’t read this book (unless you love books and art).” So begins The Scraps Book.
Even as a child, Lois Ehlert had a special place to create her art. She started with the folding table her father set up for her. She even took the table with her to art school.
Ehlert explains where she gets the ideas for her books, how she uses her various collections in her art work, and how she plays with the point of view until she finds the story she wants to tell. She shows young readers how she plans a book out, how the illustration changes from idea to finished piece, and how she plans and cuts out the pieces to piece together a collage. Peppered throughout the book, are pieces os art from Ehlert’s many books. Fans will recognize pieces from Ten Little Caterpillars, Snowballs and Cuckoo.
Personally, I love that she admitted that she’s messy when she works. She even included a photo of the bottoms of her shoes complete with the bits and pieces that were stuck there.
She also shows how, even after she’s started to work on a piece, sometimes she has to seek further inspiration. Young readers who only see a finished book might not understand just how much trial and error goes into creating a finished product. Without some knowledge of the process it is too easy to mystify the end result.
Instead, Ehlert separates the layers and shows how it is done. She encourages young readers to create their own work as well. In addition to art work, Ehlert includes a treat for young readers to use to attract and feed wild birds and more. Yes, she wants to encourage them to try their hand at art but what she really wants is to help them explore the world and discover their passions just as she found hers.
An excellent choice for your would-be artist and more.