The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

The renowned Caldecott Honoree and illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom provides a moving, intimate, and inspiring inside look at her colorful picture book career.

Lois Ehlert always knew she was an artist. Her parents encouraged her from a young age by teaching her how to sew and saw wood and pound nails, and by giving her colorful art supplies. They even gave her a ...
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Overview

The renowned Caldecott Honoree and illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom provides a moving, intimate, and inspiring inside look at her colorful picture book career.

Lois Ehlert always knew she was an artist. Her parents encouraged her from a young age by teaching her how to sew and saw wood and pound nails, and by giving her colorful art supplies. They even gave her a special spot to work that was all her own.

Today, many years and many books later, Lois takes readers and aspiring artists on a delightful behind-the-scenes tour of her books and her book-making process. Part fascinating retrospective, part moving testament to the value of following your dreams, this richly illustrated picture book is sure to inspire children and adults alike to explore their own creativity.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
★ 03/01/2014
Gr 2–5—Ehlert continues to enchant children with her inventive picture books. In this charming autobiography, she gives readers a fascinating glimpse into her creative process and her considerable talents as both an author and an illustrator are on full display. When discussing the fact that a career doesn't happen immediately, she states, "Everyone needs time to develop their dreams. An egg in the nest doesn't become a bird overnight." Each and every page pops with her signature collages as she gives examples of her various techniques. "I use odd items to create texture. I splatter paint with a toothbrush or rub a crayon over my grater." This book will attract browsers, thrill children who already love her work, be the perfect complement to an author/illustrator study, and is a stellar introduction to graphic design at its finest. A small masterpiece that is a delight for the eye and ear.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Publishers Weekly
★ 01/06/2014
Ehlert employs her signature collage technique and images from her past work to explore her lifelong relationship with creating art in this open and encouraging picture-book memoir. The journey begins with Ehlert’s early creative inklings (“I thought maybe someday I could make a book”), accompanied by family photos, images of the tools she uses today—including pinking shears, paintbrushes, a cheese grater—and a glimpse of her vibrant studio space. She shares thoughts on her varied sources of inspiration (“When a squirrel slipped into my house, a book idea walked right up to me!” she writes about Nuts to You!) and illustrates how those ideas are translated to the page via dummy sketches and finished collages, with hand-lettered captions providing context and detail. In case readers get the itch to join in, Ehlert also offers instructions for such crafty projects as a bird feeder and a cat mask. It’s an inviting inside look at Ehlert’s extensive backlist and how the books were made, with nearly every page making it clear to readers that this kind of creation is well within their reach. Ages 5–10. (Mar.)
From The Critics
“This fresh interpretation of a classic poem is a charmer.

Ehlert illustrates Fyleman’s simple, well-loved poem with her trademark vibrant collages, in this case, made from string and handmade paper…you’ve got two majorly adorable mice…. Children will delight in following the mice as they enjoy the run of the house…. The simple, rhyming text, very large print and crisp, vibrant images make this one an excellent choice for sharing with your favorite group of toddlers or preschoolers.”

* “This storytime winner brings a new twist to the classic poem…. Ehlert’s quirky, handmade paper-collage rodents (resplendent with hot pink circle ears, big front teeth,and string limbs) demonstrate by holding up a ruler, crafting a self-portrait,and peering into a mirror…. Preschoolers will undoubtedly agree that “Mice are rather nice.””

“A 1932 poem from Fyleman (1877–1957) serves as a springboard for Ehlert’s customarily striking handiwork…Ehlert’s playfulness, wit, and exposition elevate the brief text to something to be savored more carefully. Ehlert’s wide-eyed rodents are composed of collaged elements: textured, torn-paper triangles form faces and bodies (the fibrous edges of the handmade papers suggest fur), the mice’s rectangular buck teeth convey a dopey cuteness, and their ropy legs are made of knotted and frayed string…. Better still, the surprise revelation of the poem’s narrator provides a zingy sense of delight.”

Children will be delighted by…Lois Ehlert's vibrant collages…. Rose Fyleman's rhyme can be appreciated as a read-aloud by toddlers, yet fun enough for emerging readers and parents. It's easy to imagine young readers asking for this one on a regular basis—though adding it to your shelves may make it hard to convince them that the kitchen needs a mousetrap.

A visual, rhyming delight for all ages, be the reader human, cat or mouse.”

“Mice are nice,” especially when Ehlert is illustrating them with handmade paper and bits of string…. Ehlert keeps things light and bouncy with her energetic and droll collage illustrations. She even manages to sneak in an amusing surprise ending…. Attention art teachers: having your young students illustrate poems using Ehlert’s technique will be a surefire hit.”

The Horn Book
“Mice are nice,” especially when Ehlert is illustrating them with handmade paper and bits of string…. Ehlert keeps things light and bouncy with her energetic and droll collage illustrations. She even manages to sneak in an amusing surprise ending…. Attention art teachers: having your young students illustrate poems using Ehlert’s technique will be a surefire hit.”
Shelf Awareness
* “This succinct memoir is just right for a five-year-old, yet meaty enough to inspire adults. In it, [Lois Ehlert] reveals the sources of her ideas, her planning stages and her wonderful collections of words, photos, paints and fabric swatches…. The author-artist reveals "I'm messy when I work. My wastebaskets overflow," encouraging children to embrace their passions and try new things…. Ehlert shares not only studies for her books (which children will certainly seek out after examining these pages) but also lessons for a life well lived—observing, collecting, playing and creating. Brava!”
January/February 2012 The Horn Book
“Mice are nice,” especially when Ehlert is illustrating them with handmade paper and bits of string…. Ehlert keeps things light and bouncy with her energetic and droll collage illustrations. She even manages to sneak in an amusing surprise ending…. Attention art teachers: having your young students illustrate poems using Ehlert’s technique will be a surefire hit.”
Booklist
* "Ehlert offers a highly visual presentation of her roots as an artist and her process as a writer and illustrator of picture books. . . . Simply written and inviting, the text leads readers to understand her approach to creating books as well as her hands-on involvement with art throughout her life. . . visually riveting. Creative children will find inspiration and encouragement here."
March 2014 Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Those who enjoy getting a glimpse into the creative lives of artists and writers will appreciate the insider's perspective Ehlert provides. . . eye-catching and vibrant. . . a pleasant and accessible addition to a unit on artists or writers."
Library Media Connection
"Lois Ehlert utilizes her exceptional artistic style in this autobiographical work about her life and her art. This book is full of vivid color and various media. . . . Young children will be kept busy for hours looking at the pictures. This work would also work well as beginner nonfiction in the biography section or for an art lesson, especially as a Common Core and cross-curricular selection."
Horn Book Magazine
* "In a generously illustrated picture book memoir, Ehlert speaks directly to her audience.... Ehlert emerges as a woman who lives a good life surrounded by the objects and colors that make her happy. She wants the same for her readers, ending the book with "I wish you a colorful life!""
March 2014 Shelf Awareness
“This succinct memoir is just right for a five-year-old, yet meaty enough to inspire adults. In it, [Lois Ehlert] reveals the sources of her ideas, her planning stages and her wonderful collections of words, photos, paints and fabric swatches…. The author-artist reveals "I'm messy when I work. My wastebaskets overflow," encouraging children to embrace their passions and try new things…. Ehlert shares not only studies for her books (which children will certainly seek out after examining these pages) but also lessons for a life well lived—observing, collecting, playing and creating. Brava!”
March 2014 Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Those who enjoy getting a glimpse into the creative lives of artists and writers will appreciate the insider's perspective Ehlert provides. . . eye-catching and vibrant. . . a pleasant and accessible addition to a unit on artists or writers."
School Library Journal
* "Ehlert continues to enchant children with her inventive picture books. In this charming autobiography, she gives readers a fascinating glimpse into her creative process and her considerable talents as both an author and an illustrator are on full display. . . . Each and every page pops with her signature collages as she gives examples of her various techniques. . . . This book will attract browsers, thrill children who already love her work, be the perfect complement to an author/illustrator study, and is a stellar introduction to graphic design at its finest. A small masterpiece that is a delight for the eye and ear."
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Every inch of this book is filled with “good stuff” to delight the senses. Collages of colorful images include photographs from Ehlert’s childhood and from her published books. Other photos show a variety of art supplies, scenes from nature, and sketches and dummies showing Ehlert’s process to create the illustrations for her books. She also includes directions for art projects that readers can complete on their own. Ehlert reveals sources of inspiration behind some of her most popular books and confesses that she is messy when she works on her art pieces. The autobiographical narrative begins with photos of Elhert as a young child and of her parents. She explains that her parents, who both made things with their hands, nurtured her interest in art. Her mother was a seamstress who shared her colorful fabric scraps and scissors with her daughter. Dad had a basement workshop filled with wood scraps, paints, and tools for creating. She notes that Mother Nature also gives her free art supplies. When asked why she chose to become an artist, she responds that art chose her. Ehlert offers words of encouragement for aspiring young artists and closes with “I wish you a colorful life!” The gorgeous illustrations contain so many details that readers of all ages will likely return to the book numerous times to take joy in new discoveries. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.; Ages 3 up.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"I think mice...are rather nice," printed in large white letters on black, introduces two busy mice. Succinct rhymes describe the mice and their activities: "They run about the house/at night." "They nibble things/they shouldn't touch./And no one seems to like them/much." Meanwhile, the mice are depicted surrounded by all sorts of items, from a ruler and scissors to fruits, vegetables, crackers and cupcakes, all labeled in small white print. The final two double-page spreads introduce a smiling cat, while we ponder his words: "But I think mice/are nice." Collages of handmade papers and string illustrate the action; the mice are two triangles with circles for eyes and string legs. Readers should be inspired to create their own simple collages after enjoying the rhymes. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-24
Scraps—of art supplies, of finished illustrations, of techniques and of memory—overlap in this blend of memoir and artistic how-to. Right from the start, Ehlert decorates each page with collages of more than one material. Photos of gleaming scissors sit near a baby photo of herself with her mother, the text listing the "fabric scraps, buttons, lace, ribbons, and many scissors" that her mother shared with her. Photos of paint brushes, every bristle temptingly visible, overlap a childhood photo with her father, who shared wood scraps and taught her about painting, sawing and pounding nails. A photo of her parents "after hunting for wild asparagus" pairs with painted, collaged asparagus from Eating the Alphabet (1989). Tackling common questions, she frames art as eminently doable. (Where does she get her ideas? Mostly from the natural world: "On a trip to the aquarium, while I watched colorful fish swim by, a book idea swam into my brain.") Some technical terms become clear by visual example; others require outside explanation (dummy book; "[m]echanical sketch showing die cut overlays"). Highlights include a line sketch of the iconic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom next to color swatches and final shapes and all the thumbnails—plus two text versions—of Feathers for Lunch (1990). Readers will scurry to collage household and backyard tidbits; pair this with Ehlert's other work for maximum satisfaction. (Picture book/memoir. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442435728
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 72
  • Sales rank: 1,184,970
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • File size: 38 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Lois Ehlert has created numerous inventive, celebrated, and bestselling picture books, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Scraps Book, Mice, Ten Little Caterpillars, Rrralph!, Lots of Spots, Boo to You!, Leaf Man, Waiting for Wings, Planting a Rainbow, Growing Vegetable Soup, and Color Zoo, which received a Caldecott Honor. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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