Once Upon A Time…
….there was an artist who had an idea for a story- one that was colorful, that captured your attention, and that used lots of nouns and verbs– but not many adjectives! It was a book for children!
Children’s Book Artists are unique in their approach to the book. Because they have a very distinct and critical target audience, children’s books are vividly colorful, creatively simple, and morally applicable. They may look like an easy project, but a good children’s book takes into account all of these things and still wins over two separate audiences- children and adults!
The Asheville Art Museum’s new exhibition, Nouns: Children’s Book Artists Look at People, Places and Things, takes a close look at the art produced through the history of the children’s book. Each one of the artists in the show has a unique approach to their craft, and audience members get a rare opportunity to see some of the original pieces from popular books as well as a glimpse into the process of shape, color, and storyline.
I sat down with a friend of mine and her three year old the other day and read Spiegelman’s I’m A Dog, and I was pleasantly surprised by its appeal to both adults and children. Kids tap into its colors, fantasy aspects ,and creative use of texture and pop-ups. But adults can appreciate its interestingly bizarre storyline (I won’t tell you any more). This book reminded me so much of the needs of children’s films these days to cater to both adults and kids with separate sets of jokes, analogies, comments, and associations. Children’s books must do so also, and if they are like Spiegelman’s I’m A Dog, they can be just as successful!
February 24, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and
March 2, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Image Credit: Art Spiegelman. Image from I’m a Dog. Joanna Cotler Books publisher, 1997.