“...Skit skat skoodle doot.Flip flop flee.Everybody running to the coconut tree.Mamas and papasand uncles and auntshug their little dears,then dust their pants...”
There are two picture books whose texts I inadvertently memorized aquarter-century ago, during my years at the childcare center. One is THE BIG FATWORM by Nancy Van Laan and Marisabina Russo, which I would regularlynarrate at circle time while varying quartets of kids would get up and act itout. The other book I knew (and still know) by heart--because of reading italoud so often--is CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM which is illustrated by LoisEhlert.
Back then, we had lots of Lois Ehlert’s distinctively-illustrated books inour book collection at the childcare center including GROWING VEGETABLESOUP, the Caldecott Honor book COLOR ZOO, PLANTING A RAINBOW, EATING THEALPHABET, FEATHERS FOR LUNCH, and FISH EYES,After I transitioned to working in retail children’s books, there were newLois Ehlert books to learn and share. And after library school, therewere yet more new books, including Ehlert's illustration of MICE, a fun, oldpoem by the late Brit poet Rose Fyleman which had been a favorite from mypoetry recipe box back in my childcare center days.
I’m sitting here with my copy of MICE, admiring it anew after reading andre-reading THE SCRAPS BOOK: NOTES FROM A COLORFUL LIFE by Lois Ehlert. InTHE SCRAPS BOOK, Ehlert brings together short tales about her life and herart. In sharing her story of becoming an artist at a very young age, THESCRAPS BOOK is a book that challenges and encourages young people to gettheir hands on materials at hand and create their own art.
We are given an intimate look at how Lois Ehlert creates her books and weread snippets of how she came up with ideas for many of those books. Inthis picture book memoir, we are treated to photos of her book dummies, herraw materials, and illustrations from the nearly three dozen books she hasillustrated over her career.
Now when I re-read MICE and look at her illustrations, I see more clearlyhow Ehlert combines her collaging and her papermaking with found objects.I also see visual allusions to some of her early books.THE SCRAPS BOOK concludes with a two-page spread of the cover images ofLois Ehlert’s books. I've somehow missed a few of them and am going tomake a point of tracking those down.
72 pages 978-1-4424-3571-1 Ages 11 and upRecommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA
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