Day #7 – Just a few of the guys…

Whoops… a day late!


Today I thought we’d take a look at a few of the most
well-known male picture book author/illustrators…
…Maurice Sendak, Tomie DePaola, and Eric Carle!

Maurice Sendak is probably most well-known for this…
WildThingsWhere the Wild Things Are
… The story of a little boy who got in trouble, was sent to his room,
and sailed off to land full of wild and wonderful creatures…
“Let the wild rumpus begin!”

In our family, however, Mr. Sendak is most famous for this little set of stories…
Sendak1The Nutshell Library…
Alligators All Around: An Alphabet
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue
One Was Johnny: A Counting Book
Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months

Grammy and Grampy have a tiny vintage set of these bold little stories by Sendak… And they were read out loud Every. Single. Time. we visited. Sometimes more than once. I can hear Grammy’s voice… “Sipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice…” The illustrations in these books remind me of old world woodcuts, while the “Wild Things” illustrations are the stuff of dreams. (The kind of dreams you have if you eat spicy things for dinner!) Sendak’s art is folky, fanciful, and very stylized, and his stories center around precocious little kids that misbehave… and often get eaten up as a result. As a mom, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Sendak’s books at first, but soon realized there’s a bit of reverse psychology in them!

Another well-known author/illustrator is Tomie dePaola…


Tomie dePaola has written and illustrated oodles of books… over 200! He’s well known for European folk tales and Native American legends, but our favorites are his autobiographical stories. Tom is about his special relationship with his grandfather. (Somehow a story about chopped-off chicken feet makes a great kids’ book!) Another favorite of our is…

NanaNana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs

We were partial to this one because we had several generations of Nana’s in our family. Nana Anne (Who our youngest daughter Kate blogged about inner 31 Day Project) found this at a yard sale and brought it home. She explained to the girls that one day SHE would be Nana upstairs. It’s a slightly sad story, but also a very sweet one. And probably our very favorite book by Tomie…

ArtLessonThe Art Lesson

The Art Lesson is the story of young Tomie wanting to be an artist since he was a very little boy. Our oldest daughter, Jordan, loved this book so much that she wrote a letter in first grade to Mr. dePaola… and he wrote back! Talk about encouraging a little kid! Tomie’s style is also very stylized and easily recognizable.

The last guy we’ll talk about today is Eric Carle, who began his career
in children’s book illustration by doing pictures for a book by Bill Martin, Jr….
Brown BearBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Carle did a few more books with Bill Martin, Jr., but he also quickly began producing books that he wrote and illustrated himself. One of his most well-known books for children is…

CaterpillarThe Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a fun book for little folks in which a small caterpillar eats his way through the week (and the pages!) and grows bigger each day. Eric Carle produced many concept books that teach counting, the days of the week, insect sounds, parts of the body, and much more. But what is really special about Eric’s books is the WAY he illustrates them… with collage. Look a little closer at an illustration…


Each piece of his collage illustration is created from paper that he painted to add texture to the artwork.


Pretty neat, huh?

Making paint-textured papers and creating collages from them
would be a fun way to explore Carle’s illustration style, don’t you think?


…A Someday Field Trip…

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Hoping to get there some day!!!

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