Thursday, May 1, 2014

Living and Creating

Interior from The Scraps Book
One of the things children will appreciate most about Lois Ehlert's The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life is the way she draws a correlation between her life and her art. Her ideas come from everywhere (asparagus hunting, a cat, a change of seasons) and her materials can be anything (paints, crayons, seeds, crabapples, fabric swatches). 

Even Ehlert's picture of the work table her father set up for her in her childhood home shares a striking resemblance to the workspace she uses today. Children will see that their own photos, paintings, and fabric scraps can contribute to a collage about family, home and pets. 

Study for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
The author-artist also shows children precisely which book included which collage or composition, leading to an organic scavenger hunt of sorts, to check out her many picture books and to witness the varied approaches and styles she's used to illustrate her stories (and the stories of others, such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom). 

Her collections of model fish and words and art supplies reveal a passion for what she does and may well inspire children to build their own. Lois Ehlert shows that a childhood passion can become a lifelong joy.

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