I love to read to my kids. I especially love to read books that have great illustrations. I have two to share with you today.
The first is “Tar Beach” by Faith Ringgold. Faith is a painter who began painting and storytelling on quilts. (Yum. How fabulous is that!?!) Her artwork hangs in major museums, and she’s an art professor at U of C in San Diego.
But better than her bio is her books. This one features illustrations taken from her story quilt of the same name. It’s a beautiful snapshot of city life in the summer, where kids and families go up to the “tar beach” on the roof. My son was captivated by the idea that some folks live in apartment buildings, and can’t go 2 blocks north to go to the beach. Or would picnic on their roof. It was was a beautiful read, with good conversation afterwards. (BTW, my son is 7, just for reference.)
The second book is Alphabet Atlas with illustrations by Adrienne Yorinks. Each letter of the alphabet is depicted by a quilt representing a country. Some of the countries represented my son had never heard of (hello? Qatar?) and that also was a nice shift from some of the countries he’s familiar with. The illustration of each country depicts it’s place on the map – but the area surrounding it tells more about the country: it’s crops, exports, culture, etc. We had fun reading the text by Arthur Yorinks, and then seeing if we could find those little bits of information hidden in the quilt. Almost a little scavenger hunt for us!
I’m a big believer that books should have good stories and beautiful illustrations, and we should buy them (and give them) on principle. These are two which will be taking up permanent residency on my studio bookshelf.
To read by review of Children’s Books with Polymer Clay Illustrations, click here.