Black Elephant with a Brown Ear (in Alabama)

Overview

Bill Traylor created these pictures more than 50 years ago and when Barbara Ann Porte first saw his work in a museum, she fell in love with it. For this book she has chosen 11 of Traylor's intriguing pictures and created her own clever, witty stories about them. The result is a beautifyl and most unusual volume that both readers and art lovers of all ages will enjoy. Full color.

Ten stories created to describe what is depicted in drawings and paintings made by a ...

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Illustrated by Bill Traylor New York 1996 Hardcover First Edition New 0688143741. First printing. Stories by Barbara Ann Porte. Book crisp, new, unread. Fine in near fine, ... unclipped DJ. No marks, bookplate, etc. Folk artist Bill Traylor was born into slavery and came to art late in life. This book contains ten full-page reproductions of his paintings with a story by Barbara Ann Porte to accompany each. The text of the stories was intended for children but they are so lively and dignified that when combined with the paintings are fully appreciated by an adult audience. The paintings with stories are: Man With a Bowl on His Head, Prize Pig, Black Elephant With a Brown Ear (in Alabama), Snake, Man and Bird on House, Scary Creature, Chicken Thief, Red and Black Dogfight, Figures (for a Circus), and Runaway Goat Cart. A unique tribute to a unique man with an unforgettable artistic vision of the natural world. Traylor's unshakeable humor, humanity and grace in the chaos of a life filled with adversity are nothing Read more Show Less

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Overview

Bill Traylor created these pictures more than 50 years ago and when Barbara Ann Porte first saw his work in a museum, she fell in love with it. For this book she has chosen 11 of Traylor's intriguing pictures and created her own clever, witty stories about them. The result is a beautifyl and most unusual volume that both readers and art lovers of all ages will enjoy. Full color.

Ten stories created to describe what is depicted in drawings and paintings made by a former slave when he was almost ninety years old.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
What a nice twist! Here the writer has written stories interpreting the artist's pictures rather than the artist illustrating a text. This book is a selection of ten paintings by Bill Traylor, who completed the paintings more than fifty years before the author created the accompanying stories. Traylor was born into slavery in 1854 on a plantation in Alabama. After he gained his freedom, he worked as a shoe salesman and later a sidewalk artist. The illustrations in this book are done on cardboard from boxes Traylor found. He used colored pencil, crayon, and poster paint to create these pictures. Porte's stories are written in a informal, folksy way and perfectly match Traylor's style. The speculative way Porte interprets the pictures will lead readers to add their own ideas. This would make a great introduction to a gallery visit where viewers are invited to translate the meaning of the artwork in exactly the same way Porte has done - to find clues left by artists and create meaning.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Bill Traylor was born into slavery and worked as a farmer most of his life; in the years between 1939 and 1942, the elderly, untutored black artist made over 1200 paintings on scraps of paper and cardboard. Porte has taken 10 pieces of art, reproduced here in full-color, and has told an imaginative tale for each one. Some of the narratives borrow elements from folktales or news articles (sources are noted in the back of the book), while others are simply the author's musings. The few facts known about Traylor's life are given in the introduction. His paintings do possess a nave charm and whimsical humor that tempt one to make up stories about them; Porte's writings, which are light and folksy in tone, explore a world of possibilities. They don't stand alone, but might be useful to a teacher trying to get children to write their own stories based on pictures. Mary E. Lyon's Deep Blues (Scribners, 1994) is a much fuller treatment of Traylor and his art, fleshing out the sketchy biographical data with details of black life in the South from slavery days till just before World War II. It includes reproductions of many of Traylor's paintings (two of which also appear in Porte's book).-Pam Gosner, Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688143749
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.87 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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