"Art literacy is as simple as opening the pages of a children's book." In her introduction to Wings of an Artist
, Julie Cummins discusses the importance of exposing young people to art during their formative years, especially through picture books. Twenty-three illustrators, including Maurice Sendak and Graeme Base, are allotted one big page each to describe in pictures and words how they became artists, in spite of or thanks to reactions from others. Under her glorious picture of a flying dragon with myriad colorful critters on its back, Woodleigh Marx Hubbard tells readers what all her art teachers told her: "You have no talent. Give it up!" She couldn't. She didn't. Michael McCurdy's father was a commercial artist who gave his son scratchboard to scribble on--and the inspiration to bring "dark surfaces into the light."
The variety of artistic styles, media, and methods represented in this book beautifully reflects the diversity of the artistic world. An activity guide offers an array of fun, useful exercises to open any creative mind. Young artists--and readers who have never even picked up a paintbrush--will be filled with the desire to start interpreting their world through pen and ink, watercolor, crayon, collage--whatever it takes. All proceeds from this book go to the American Library Association's Association for Library Service to Children, as part of a nationwide effort to promote art literacy. (Ages 7 and older) --Emilie Coulter
More than twenty illustrators of children's books, including James Ransome, Robert Sabuda, Maira Kalman, and Maurice Sendak, talk about their work.