In which I revisit some favorite artistic types
to illustrate my points
✻ ✾ Picture books ❇ ❅
I loved them then.
I love them now.
I'm still capable of wonder.
And still capable of being manipulated
by the illustrator leading the way, guiding the reader.
|MORE by I. C. Springman illustrated by Brian Lies|
For example, Brian Lies created this ☝
from his collection of these.
☟ ☟I'll bet there's a connection behind every Lego,
token, button, jacknife, fork, pacifier, measuring tape,
bolt, washer, lock, can opener
~~connections personal enough to inspire Brian's interpretation of the author's words via his award winning art, yet universal enough to trigger the individual imaginations of young readers.
But then, for every young reader there comes that bittersweet
elementary school lightbulb moment:
The higher the reading level,
the fewer the illustrations to lead the way
ALL PRINT! NO PICTURES!
and the reader's imagination is manipulated, not by art, but
by the author's description of those oh so carefully placed objects.
✳ ✴ ✷ ✼
In GLORY BE Augusta Scattergood plunks her middle grade readers right down in Hanging Moss, Mississippi, during the "Freedom Summer" of 1964.
Her carefully chosen props:
Love Me Tender, Elvis, Nancy Drew, Dr. Pepper
enhance the 60s setting as she steers a new generation &
prompts them to envision, perhaps question, certainly imagine
what develops into serious themes & complicated issues.
Augusta's most memorable prop, like Brian's stash of found objects, springs from her imagination. JUNK POKER a game she and her sister invented, is only a term in the book. There're no lively illustrations, no photographs of the real Buster Brown shoebox or the blue satin ribbon.
Nevertheless, she's masterfully woven the game, the box and the contents into her story.
These props move the plot, enhance her characters & even build tension.
✼ From the setting to the characters moving the plot,
❄Whether it's a literal, visual depiction or a figurative, written description,
props are meant to trigger the imagination.
When the writer or illustrator has done it correctly,
the story belongs to the reader.
✻ ✴ ✶ ❊
Part 2 takes a look at the gun on the mantel,
or in my case,
the clock and the ironstone platter.