Pass It Down: Five Picture Book Families Make Their Mark

Overview

Our families help shape who we are-what we look like, what we like to eat, even what our strengths and abilities are. So when a parent is a renowned children's book author or illustrator, creative ability may be part of an amazing legacy.

Leonard S. Marcus introduces readers to five best-selling and award-winning families with talent that spans the generations. By opening up these family albums-sharing personal memories, scrapbooks, book dummies, model shots, and final art, ...

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Pass It Down: Five Picture Book Families Make Their Mark

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Overview

Our families help shape who we are-what we look like, what we like to eat, even what our strengths and abilities are. So when a parent is a renowned children's book author or illustrator, creative ability may be part of an amazing legacy.

Leonard S. Marcus introduces readers to five best-selling and award-winning families with talent that spans the generations. By opening up these family albums-sharing personal memories, scrapbooks, book dummies, model shots, and final art, Marcus chronicles the way books come into being, the way artists are nurtured and grown, and the way where we come from influences who and what we become.

Includes in depth interviews and extensive histories of five famous multi-generational families of children's book creators:
Jerry Pinkney and his son Brian Pinkney
Anne and Harlow Rockwell and their daughter Lizzy
Donald Crews and Ann Jonas, and their daughter Nina Crews
Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers
Edith and Clement Hurd and their son Thacher Hurd

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From Kirkus Reviews

*Starred Review* Written in an engaging style with clarity and immediacy, this doubles as an accessible primer on the art of penning and visualizing picture books. Filled with intriguing tidbits, this is an outstanding work about the connections between parents and children, editors and artists and readers and writers.—Kirkus Reviews

From Horn Book

[T]he writing level is perfectly in keeping with elementary-school children, and the style is chatty and anecdotal. —Horn Book, Jan/Feb issue

Jan/Feb issue Horn Book

[T]he writing level is perfectly in keeping with elementary-school children, and the style is chatty and anecdotal.
Publishers Weekly
Leonard S. Marcus previously profiled a quintet of famous picture-book collaborators in his Side by Side: Five Favorite Picture-Book Teams Go to Work (PW's starred review said, "Readers may well end up appreciating their favorite picture books more, for the energy and ingenuity it takes to create them"), which is now available in a paperback edition ($11.95 ISBN 978-0-8027-9616-5). In a companion of sorts, Pass It Down: Five Picture-Book Families Make Their Mark, Marcus explores creativity in the genes of the Crews family, the Hurds, the Myerses, the Pinkneys and the Rockwells. Early influences (the home of Donald Crews's grandmother, which winds up in Bigmama's) and early drafts (a typed-out front page for Little Dog, Dreaming "by Edith Thacher Hurd, Thacher Hurd, Clement Hurd"), an editorial letter, a sketch and watercolor painted by Brian Pinkney with father Jerry as his model, add to the candor of the text. The narrative consists largely of parent-child conversations that Marcus captures so effortlessly it feels like readers are eavesdropping. (Walker, $19.95 56p ages 8-12 ISBN 978-0-8027-9600-4; Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal

Gr 4 Up
Marcus presents the events and circumstances that have resulted in five picture-book dynasties. Each chapter includes biographical information about the subjects that zeroes in on the salient pieces that nurtured artistic growth and includes numerous quotes from the authors/illustrators themselves. The featured families are Donald Crews, Ann Jonas, and Nina Crews; Clement and Edith Hurd and Thacher Hurd; Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers; Jerry Pinkney and Brian Pinkney; and Harlow and Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell. Marcus carefully makes the point that, although perhaps blessed with some inherited talent and encouraged by their parents, all of the children pursued their art with diligence and have emerged with their own unique styles. Marcus's writing is, as usual, tight but lively, and each chapter is liberally laced with photographs, preliminary sketches, and final art. The book will be of interest to those readers who enjoy getting behind the scenes of the books they love.
—Grace OliffCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Children's literature scholar Marcus is back with a fascinating portrait of five families who have achieved success in their picture-book endeavors. His intelligent introduction explains that offspring inherit not only traits like eye and hair color but talent in such areas as music and art. Nina Crews, Thatcher Hurd, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney and Lizzy Rockwell had their gifts nurtured from an early age by their like-minded parents. The contrast between the experiences of these children and that of their struggling elders is compelling: Walter Dean Myers and Anne Rockwell were foster children; Clement Hurd rebelled against his high-society clan; the working class dads of Donald Crews and Jerry Pinkney focused on making a living, not their son's aspirations. Interspersed with quotations from the subjects, the text is lavishly illustrated with letters, family photographs and portraits of the artists at work, sketches, storyboard studies and finished artwork. Written in an engaging style with clarity and immediacy, this doubles as an accessible primer on the art of penning and visualizing picture books. Filled with intriguing tidbits, this is an outstanding work about the connections between parents and children, editors and artists and readers and writers. (photo credits, selective bibliography, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802796004
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 12/26/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,061,005
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.01 (w) x 10.79 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

LEONARD S. MARCUS is one of the children's book world's most respected and versatile writers, historians, and critics, and has been a contributor and editor for numerous publications. Most recently, Leonard has been named the literary director of Night Kitchen Radio Theater for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. He holds degrees in history from Yale and poetry from the University of Iowa Graduate Writers' Workshop. He and his wife, the picture-book artist Amy Schwartz, live with their son Jacob in Brooklyn, New York.
www.leonardmarcus.com

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