Saturday, November 24, 2007

Review: What Do illustrators Do?

Now available in paperback:

What Do Illustrators Do? written and illustrated by Eileen Christelow. Clarion, 1999 (0-395-90230-4) $15.00; 2007 (978-0-618-87423-1) $6.95 pb

This companion to What Do Authors Do? is another fun and friendly look behind the scenes of the creation of a book. As two illustrators get to work on separate versions of "Jack and the Beanstalk," their pets, Scooter the dog and Leonard the cat, chat with each other and comment on the process, from the initial plan of what scenes to illustrate to the design of the cover. The helpful pets also demonstrate perspective, style, and--oops!--getting stuck in "the gutter." Christelow's informal watercolors and lively characters make both the business side and the creative side of illustrating understandable and entertaining. Readers may be surprised by how much thought and effort have to go into "just" drawing pictures, but will also inspired by seeing that "real" artists make rough sketches, traces, and mistakes. (5-8)