Thursday, April 03, 2008

No Hippos with Pink Parasols Here

The Bologna Children's Book Fair is just winding up. Lookee here at the finalists for the Children's Illustration awards. Now I'm no expert, but the style seems so, well, European. Somehow darker, edgier. No hippos with pink parasols, or kids in all their safety gear (sunhats, bike helmets, elbow/knee protectors, SPF 50...) here. Sure there are some edgy exception in North American -- Stephane Jorisch's Jabberwocky comes to mind or Joe Morse's intercity interpretation of Casey at Bat (in fact all of the artistic interpretations of the poems in Kid Can's Visions in Poetry are innovative and edgy). I mean, look at this image from Poe's The Raven, illustrated by Ryan Price.

One of the most interesting books I have from when my kids were young is The Best Children's Books in the World: A Treasury of Illustrated Stories. Lofty title aside, it is a great book because it has 16 stories with their original text/script and a translation running along the bottom. So interesting for all of us to see the different artistic styles, not to mention the interpretation of what makes a "best" story. (It was an education for the kids to see all of the different scripts/languages too -- Hebrew, Chinese, Arabic, etc.)

Thanks to artist Christine Tripp for the link to the Bologna finalists.

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