Thursday, September 12, 2013

Colorful World

As Renata rushes to upload the final artwork for her book due this week, I thought it would be fun to take a leisurely stroll through one of her favorite books to read as a child - Colorful World or in Polish Kolorowy Świat.

This book came up last week during a discussion on reading books as a child. The truth is Renata (and myself as well) mostly looked at the pictures - and we still do! But for Renata this book was an exception. She can remember hauling out the book daily to read, and it was a really big book for a child to carry. She would sit on the floor of her bedroom with this big book on her little lap and escape into the colorful world of it's words.

Each chapter relates to a season and begins with a lovely illustration of a tree for that season. As we looked over the book, being careful not to further damage it's tattered binding, Renata has a memory and story for each image. Sometimes the images frightened her, others delighted, and some she couldn't figure out until now.

Kolorowy Świat was published in 1968 and features short stories from multiple authors. It was illustrated by Hanna Krajnik, Danuta Imielska-Gebethner, Zdislaw Witwicki, and Hanna Czajkowska.

This is Renata's favorite story from the book. It's titled Psie Smutki or Dog Blues written by Jan Brzechwa. It's a very short story about a sad little puppy sitting by a river.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Coming to (North) America

Is it too early to start talking about Renata's next book "Once Upon a Memory" written by Nina Laden. Maybe, it's not out until December 3rd after all ... but what the heck. This was one of Renata's favorite drawings for the book, however,  it's not in the finished picture book! 

Sometimes a drawing that makes perfect sense in your mind, isn't so clear for others. This drawing didn't quite work in the context of the story. Unfortunately this can happen more often than an artist would like. We try to bounce the ideas off each other but even then we are sometimes too close to those drawings and can't get the proper perspective - I guess that's what editors are for right?

As with all of Renata's drawings this image is more than a reflection of the text she is illustrating, it is also a reflection of her own experiences. Like many an old tale of immigrants coming to America, Renata came to North America with a few sentences in english, her life savings (exchanged for a couple of hundred Canadian dollars), and her hopes and dreams of course!