with children’s book
Let the Wild Rumpus Start! A Retrospective Celebrates the Illustrated Classics of the Late Maurice Sendak
The late artist and author Maurice Sendak is responsible for bringing us some of the most beloved, iconic childhood stories, and his distinctive style and fantastical beasts defined classics like In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, and of course, the ever-popular Where the Wild Things Are. Opening this fall at the Columbus Museum of Art, an expansive retrospective surveys Sendak’s unparalleled contributions to both children’s literature and the discipline, more broadly.
Wild Things are Happening is the largest exhibition of the artist’s work to date, containing more than 150 sketches, original illustrations, storyboards, and paintings from his own projects and collaborations. The show also references his myriad inspirations and influences with works by William Blake, Walt Disney, and Beatrix Potter, among others.
Wild Things are Happening runs from October 22, 2022, to March 5, 2023, before heading to Paris and other locations. A concurrent exhibition of Sendak’s performance-based works is on view at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry in Connecticut through December 16. (via Creative Boom)
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An Illustrated Children’s Book Is a Sensitive Retelling of a Timber Elephant’s Role in WWII
Meet Bandoola, an Asian timber elephant the British Army enlisted in WWII. Purchased as a calf, the lumbering creature was shipped to a teak plantation where he was forced to drag and push logs across the landscape to construct bridges and other structures. Bandoola’s life, while fictionalized by London-based illustrator and author William Grill in his forthcoming children’s book, is based on the true story of Elephant Bill, a soldier who worked with the animals in forestry camps during the war.
In Grill’s illustrated retelling published by Flying Eye Books, Bandoola encounters veteran James Howard Williams, and the two forge an unusual friendship when they’re tasked with leading refugees and 70 elephants from Burma to India. The tale explores themes of animal cruelty and care and conservation, using textured drawings in pastel tones as a soothing complement to the story’s otherwise harsh realities. In a conversation with It’s Nice That, Grill explains that he achieved softer lines by tilting his pencil on its side, and similar to a lithograph, he drew individually colored layers for each scene before putting them together. “My drawing style is somewhat naive and simple. I try to tread a line between observation and impressionism,” he says. “I would say my visual language is observational but has some underlying character and emotion to it. Hopefully, it comes across as warm and not cold.”
Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue is available for pre-order on Bookshop, where you can also find Grill’s previous books The Wolves of Currumpaw and Earth Verse with similarly colorful drawings and nature-based themes. Head to the illustrator’s Instagram for behind-the-scenes looks at his process.
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A Poetic Book Illustrated by Tiffany Bozic Explores the Vast Diversity of Trees with Childlike Curiosity
In her first body of work geared toward children, artist Tiffany Bozic (previously) showcases the naturally occurring whimsy and wonder of the outdoors through saturated color, texture, and unusual perspectives: An upward glance frames towering redwoods with rugged bark, elusive flying squirrels cling to a branch, and dried leaves, fungi, and berries form a thick, colorful layer of groundcover. “I wanted to inspire children to notice how beautiful and important nature is and recognize that we are also animals, a part of nature. We only protect what we love. Trees are a great place to start because everyone has access to them, even in urban areas,” she tells Colossal.
In the last two decades, the Marin, California-based artist has created hundreds of paintings on maple panel, often leaving the wood grain fully exposed or peeking through a thin veil of acrylic. Bozic’s detailed interpretations highlight the singularity of individual plants and animals as she adeptly applies a surreal twist to her otherwise faithful portrayals—her earlier books Drawn by Instinct and Unnatural Selections show the breadth of this style—while Trees relies on a more realistic approach. Paired with a lyrical story written by Tony Johnson, the illustrated book is a reminder to celebrate the earth’s diversity with a sense of childlike admiration and curiosity.
Trees is available for pre-order on Bookshop. You can follow Bozic’s new works, some of which will be informed by her research into the ways fire affects biodiversity in Tahoe earlier this summer, on Instagram. Find limited-edition prints and originals on her site.
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Find Yourself in the Pages of the New Search-And-Find Book ‘Where Are You?’ Illustrated by Marija Tiurina
“Where Are You?” is a new customized search-and-find book illustrated by Marija Tiurina (previously). The children’s book combines elements from “I Spy,” Where’s Waldo?,” and video game avatars to create personalized pages that invite readers to search for themselves across six different universes. Adults can choose from one of 12 avatars that best match their child, which will be printed into a book with the child’s name on the cover. Kids can then hunt through Tiurina’s crowded scenes to find alternative versions of their themselves as chefs, archaeologists, paranormal investigators, and more. You can customize your own book on Wonderbly, where the book has currently sold over 160,000 copies worldwide. Take a look at Tiurina’s personal artwork and behind-the-scenes shots on Instagram.
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Loneliness and Belonging Explored in a New Children’s Book of Poetry and Mixed-Media Illustrations
Author JonArno Lawson and artist Nahid Kazemi recently collaborated to tell a largely visual story about a young bird contemplating its own existence and trying to find its place in the world after losing its flock. Titled Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon and published by Brooklyn-based Enchanted Lion Books, the children’s book features poetic writing by Lawson which provides the framework for its complex themes. Kazemi’s colorful illustrations—a mix of pencil, colored pencil, chalk pastel, and collage—pull young readers into the colorful and curious world.
After studying painting at Art University in Tehran, Kazemi worked as a graphic designer for literary magazines, published children’s books in Iran, and participated in illustration festivals around the world. Kazemi tells Colossal that the collaboration with JonArno Lawson happened by chance, shortly after a move and career restart in Canada.
While looking through books at a library for publishers and authors, the artist came across one called Sidewalk Flowers. “It made me hopeful that publishers in North America were interested in publishing wordless books,” she said. “I searched for JonArno’s other books in the library and felt that his work was close to my own style. I found him through social media – he really liked my work as well, and after a short while, we started to think together about this project.”
The new book is available on Bookshop. To see more of Kazemi’s mixed media illustrations, follow her on Instagram. (via Brain Pickings)
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A Photo Series Featuring an Oversized Dachshund and Her Owner Exploring Brooklyn
Writer, photographer, illustrator, and director Mitch Boyer got the idea to Photoshop his tiny dachshund Vivian to an enormous scale after wanting to see her portrayed the same size of her mammoth personality. The idea was so entertaining he decided to turn the series of digitally manipulated images into a children’s book titled “Vivian the Dog Moves to Brooklyn” which depicts the pair’s own move to the city just a couple of years prior.
Knowing that each year over 5.5 million kids between the ages of one and nine move to a new home in the United States, Boyer decided to format the book as a tool to help children feel more comfortable during periods of relocation and transition. The 32-page book will feature Vivian as a six-foot-tall version of herself, adjusting to life in Brooklyn alongside Boyer and meeting some furry friends along the way.
The project is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. You can follow Boyer and Vivian’s real day-to-day adventures on Instagram. (via Designboom)
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Editor's Picks: Animation
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.