Friday, October 31, 2008

Stories and animals

Animals are one of the typical themes treated by Children’s Literature. If we choose any ten Children’s Literature books, we can see that four of them are related to animals. Authors use stories about insects, fishes, elephants, monkeys, giraffes and the rest of animals, to approach to “little” public. I think that most of us, when we were children, sometimes have felt the need of ride a horse, walk beside a camel or play with mice. These kinds of feelings are used for authors and illustrators to bring nearer children to literature and books.
One of these illustrators is Eric Carle. With his collages (his colourist and living illustrations are good samples of this kind of illustration techniques), Carle introduce to us into animal’s world with a bit of humour and simple concepts. I already remember the first time I tell one of his tales to a children group. It was Mister Seahorse, a sea story that tells the life of Mr Seahorse and his eggs. Twenty-three pairs of stunned eyes were looking, twenty-three open ears were listening and twenty-three mouths were opened… It was incredible! All of them were expecting, waiting for the end, smiling.There are two other Eric Carle’s books that have the same effects: The mixed-up chameleon and The very quiet cricket… It could be a good idea to read them, couldn’t it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Many changes are now happening: political changes, economical changes, social changes, etc. There isn’t an only crisis, perhaps there are a lot of them. Whole the World is changing, and I think that we need these changes too. It could be a good solution for this sad situation: people without job, hungry children, natural disasters... Everything cracks. Only if we are conscious about this, it will be much easy to find a solution.
And if we are talking about changes, there’s no author who knows so much of this theme than Anthony Browne.
This illustrator, one of the best illustrators at the moment, has made a revolution with his images full of references to other situations that don’t belong to the Children’s Literature’s World. It’s curious, but Browne gets to introduce figures or elements that change the meaning of his works. From his beginning like illustrator, with titles like A walk in the park, to works like I like books, Piggybook, Gorilla (in my opinion, his best work, where his passion for the apes appears), Willy the Wimp (a big lesson for shy children and without self-respect) or Changes (a story that tell us about jealousy), Anthony Browne handle his pictures to tell us other stories inside the main story, or to emphasize it, for example in Piggybook we can see how the pictures on wallpaper change during the action: first, are tulips and after they seems pig faces. For more details, you only can do a thing: read it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sendak: Images and Wishes

There is something special in the Maurice Sendak’s illustrations. There are full of expressive marks, full of strange ink-lines, mysterious sketches... Sendak is one of the most important illustrators/authors of Children’s Literature. His books have a lot of acceptance among “little” readers. Why? I suppose its success dues to dreams and nightmares world, confronted feelings and dark desires. Children need run away of reality and find another world, that place where the wild things live…
Since he published his masterpiece Where the wild things are, his fame has no limits… He was born in 1926 into a Polish Jewish family that arrived to USA before the World War I. When he was young started to paint. He went to art school at the Art Students' League to continue his education. After some minor works, in 1963, he finally published Where the wild things are. It’s been a best-seller since its publication, has been traduced in many languages and, even, has inspired a theatre play. Sendak is one of the Children’s Literature’s living-legend, who not only has wrote and painted his own works; he has collaborated with other authors too, for example Else Holmelund Minarik (Little Bear) or Isaac Bashevis Singer. Among Maurice Sendak’s titles, we could mention The nutcracker (his version of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale), In the night kitchen (one of the few illustrated books censured in USA), The Sign On Rosie's Door or Higglety Pigglety Pop!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A new experience begins...

There are a lot of crazy ideas, and this is one of them… Today I begin this venture that I don’t know if it already reaches good satisfactory outcome… I don’t think if I will be able to response every week, each day, to the work that involves keep this website update too, and I don't know if I will be able to satisfy people who visit this site either.
I have wanted to devote this space to one of my passions: Children’s Literature, specifically to illustrated books.
This is a place where the respect, the freedom to express an opinion and the documentary quality are the pillars of communication among the persons whose visit it.
Thanks all the people who visit this website and contribute with their ideas to make bigger and bigger the Children’s Literature’s World.
The experience begins…
Illustration: Loreng Long. 2004. When I heard the learn'd astronomer (a Walt Whitman's poem).