But how does Savage create emotion with these fairly straightforward colors and shapes? The uncomplicated compositions allow young children to see themselves standing in for the polar bear cub. And Stephen Savage's technique is anything but simple.
We got a chance to interview him about his book The Fathers Are Coming Home by Margaret Wise Brown, and he shared with us the multi-step process he uses every time he makes a print for one of his books. He draws on the linoleum, cuts the linoleum to create a relief print, then carefully builds up the inks on the raised areas to give a sense of depth, perspective and, in the case of Polar Bear Night, a nighttime setting.
He demonstrates his process here. It makes you think about how nothing is ever as easy as it looks.