Scraps Book Notes From a Colorful Life


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Beach Lane Books Simon and Schuster 2014

“...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

For more of  Richie's Picks _http://richiespicks.pbworks.com_ 

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