Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Children's Author Illustrator | Lois Ehlert

In my Library Materials for Children class this fall, each of us has to do a presentation on an author/illustrator of children's material. I was assigned Lois Ehlert and, if you'll be so kind as to indulge me, I will share some of the marvelous art (and writing) I encountered through her books.

She illustrates through the medium of collage, arranging brightly painted paper in the way that best fits her taste. Many of the themes in Lois Ehlert’s books come from her own interests, and seek to connect her young readers with the natural world. She doesn't just write a book about a cat trying to catch some birds for a good meal in Feathers for Lunch - she meticulously collages 12 different birds, presenting them in their true-to-life size and concluding with an appendix of useful identification information for each bird and plant seen throughout the book.

In Waiting for Wings - my favorite of her picture books - she shows the process of various caterpillars, who inhabit the smaller inset pages of the book, eventually becoming butterflies who branch out into a larger context. Again, the last few pages of the book provide colorful and informative identification facts about the book’s butterflies and flowers, and some adivice on how to create your own garden that will attract buterflies from the neigborhood. Other books illustrated in this style of painted paper collage include Planting a Rainbow; Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z; Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf; Nuts to You!; Top Cat; and Leaf Man.

In Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z, the pages are full of beautiful food from around the world. The appendix also includes useful information on the fruits and vegetables featured in the book as well as their common uses and origins. Growing Vegetable Soup, is a more simple book geared toward early learners and their caregivers. With bold graphic art, Ehlert presents the many steps in preparing, planting, and growing a vegetable garden in order to make some homemade soup. Other books of Eherlt's with a more graphic art style are Color Zoo, Color Farm, Fish Eyes, Circus, Moon Rope, and more!


Amy and Andrew Daigle said...

Thanks for sharing what you learned! Hope your presentation went well today.

Anonymous said...

I agree thanks for sharing. And for putting those pretty pictures in the post. Gotta love the visuals. :) -h

The Lindahl News said...

Of course you like Lois Ehlert...you're a quilter!

Whenever I see your quilting projects, I am taken in by your creative, bold sense in color choices. And that's just what Lois E. does! She is unafraid of color, texture, pattern and design.

LEAF MAN is my favorite...especially after I read the back pages with how she did it!

Vivian Love said...

Thanks for sharing. What an amazing artist.

Marisa said...

I'm so glad that you are sharing these, they are really lovely books. I can't wait to see what you find next, who knew kids' books were so beautiful.