The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40thAnniversary: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary
  • The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40thAnniversary: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary
  • The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40thAnniversary: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary

The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40thAnniversary: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary

by Reading Is Fundamental
     
 

For forty years, the nonprofit literacy organization Reading Is Fundamental has been putting books into the hands of children across America. To commemorate its fortieth anniversary, it has brought together forty of the most celebrated children’s book illustrators working today and asked them each to re-imagine a classic book from their childhood. The result

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Overview

For forty years, the nonprofit literacy organization Reading Is Fundamental has been putting books into the hands of children across America. To commemorate its fortieth anniversary, it has brought together forty of the most celebrated children’s book illustrators working today and asked them each to re-imagine a classic book from their childhood. The result is a collection of beautiful and captivating images and insightful essays that remind us how a child’s early experiences with books can be powerful and lasting—and can help to create writers and artists.This gift book includes a foreword by Leonard Marcus, noted historian, author, and critic in the field of children’s literature.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Many creative takes on this volume's title emerge as an illustrious crew (including seven Caldecott Medalists and eight Caldecott Honor artists) share childhood memories of a book that left a lasting impression. For the most part, these articulate and candid commentaries play supporting roles to this handsome volume's shining stars: the full-page illustrations in which each artist creates a visual homage to his or her chosen book. Some renderings stay true to the spirit of the book's original artwork, including those created by Diana Cain Bluthenthal and Henry Cole, who both selected E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, illustrated by Garth Williams ("Mr. Williams breathed a life into the farm and its characters beyond words," Bluthenthal comments). Other artists add a unique touch: Steven Kellogg depicts himself as a smiling lad riding on the back of Black Beauty's Ginger, restored to the spirited young horse at the novel's start; Eric Rohmann playfully honors Wanda G g's Millions of Cats with a portrait of a paw-licking, exceedingly fat cat (the last remaining feline after the countless cats quarrel and allegedly eat "each other all up"). Each entry captures the contributors' personality and style, offering fans a behind-the-easel peak at these talented individuals. Of reading Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are as a child, William Joyce writes, "I got lost in that book and haven't come out since." Similarly, readers will effortlessly lose themselves in these intriguing pages. All ages. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In honor of the non-profit literacy organization Reading Is Fundamental's fortieth anniversary, forty contemporary children's illustrators were asked to contribute to this anthology. More specifically, they were asked to comment upon their favorite book as a child, then create their own version of that book's illustrations. There were overlaps. Hans Christian Andersen, C.S. Lewis, and E.B. White's Charlotte's Web were hot favorites. More fun were the variations on books like Walter R. Brooks' Freddy the Detective (a wonderful new cover by Kevin Hawkes), Eric Rohmann's take on the "missing" climax picture of Wanda Gag's Millions of Cats--and Peter Sis's inspiration for becoming an artist: Albrecht Durer's wonderful Rhinoceros etching. Leonard S. Marcus contributed a foreword, and the book concludes with additional information on the participating artists, as well as several indices. The glossy paper and quality color values are a plus, as are the cover reproductions of the original titles under discussion. This is a book for librarians, teachers, and parents to page through and enjoy. 2005, Dutton, Ages 8 up.
—Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-Forty well-known, well-loved children's book illustrators share memories of a book (and even a comic book) seminal to their development as readers and artists, and offer accompanying pieces of art-"re-imagined" from those books. From its cozy cover image (created by the late Fred Marcellino) of a cat and mouse companionably enthralled by the open book on which they perch, to the satisfying thumbnail biographies appended, this is a lovingly conceived, cohesive, and distinctively designed treasure. Each spread is dedicated to one of the contributors; half of it is occupied by an art piece, and half by the illustrator's reminiscence, a sidebar featuring a cameo photo-portrait of the artist, and a vividly reproduced image of the cover of the book (or, in Peter Sis's case, of the etching) that so captured the imagination and sparked the flame of creativity. Most of the art was specially created for this volume. Leonard S. Marcus's insightful and affecting foreword sets just the right anticipatory tone for readers who will be treated to spectacular pictures and often-moving personal statements. In an introductory note, Reading Is Fundamental President and CEO Carol H. Rasco says this is "a book about the ability of children's literature to change lives and open hearts." She is so right. This tribute is a thing of beauty and a joy for anyone whose life has ever been electrified by the experience of a book.-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
No publication could be more fitting to honor the 40th anniversary of RIF than this elegantly designed, splendid homage to the joy of reading. Forty illustrators have chosen a classic book from their childhood and visually re-imagined it. On the recto, the artist describes his or her remembrance of the favorite book beside a photo of the individual and the book's original cover while the verso presents the illustrator's full-page reinterpretation. The result is a passionate tribute to the significance of books in children's lives. From the vivid, bold art of Lois Ehlert to the simplicity of Dick Bruna to the accordion-fold recreation by Chris Raschka, the randomly arranged entries individually carry a punch, but collectively they pack a wallop. Front and back matter include a forward by Leonard Marcus, a letter from the RIF President and a short paragraph about each illustrator. Fred Marcellino's cat and mouse reading together is a perfect cover and raises the curtain on this fascinating, royal appreciation and celebration of children's books, one that will excite children's literature mavens and inspire parents and teachers. (Nonfiction. All ages)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525474845
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/18/2005
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
10.24(w) x 10.36(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A lovingly conceived, cohesive, and distinctively designed treasure. This tribute is a thing of beauty and a joy for anyone whose life has ever been electrified by the experience of a book."
-School Library Journal, starred review

"[A] fascinating, royal appreciation and celebration of children’s books, one that will excite children’s literature mavens and inspire parents and teachers."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"[A] handsomely designed volume." —Booklist

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