rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reading this was pleasantly reminiscent of art history classes – I particularly enjoyed Evans’ comments about the uses of form, composition, color, technique, perspective, etc. in the work of the picture book illustrators she highlights. It made me want to sit down with a giant stack of picture books and look at them for how the illustrations tell the story, how each page turn is important, and all of that. Some of the illustrators she highlights were already favorites of mine, like Trina Schart Hyman, Brian Selznick, and David Wiesner; others were illustrators whose work I’ve enjoyed, but never been particularly struck by, and others I’d tried to like but hadn’t quite. With each illustrator, Evans gives us a good overview of their work and style, a brief biography, and discusses the influences on the artist and why they are a good example of the art of picture book illustration. A few illustrations per person are discussed in depth, which only whets the appetite for MORE.
It’s a very accessible book, and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves picture books or is interested in the process of book and illustration creation. The only thing I would’ve liked to see were works in progress, although including them might have made the book an unmanageable size.