The Art of Reading | by Reading is Fundamental

The Art of Reading

The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF’s 40th Anniversary
by Reading is Fundamental
(Dutton Books, 2005, 96 pages)

I’ve always loved picture books, but now that I have a little one that I can buy them for it seems that I’ve gotten slightly more obsessed. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Reading is Fundamental this book brings together 40 well-known illustrators and asks them to write about a book that influenced them when they were children. They are then to create an illustration inspired by that book. This is a great way to get insight into what led these illustrators to pursue their career paths while also exposing readers to illustrators that might be new to them.

Each illustrator gets two pages in the book, one for a brief autobiographical blurb about the book that influenced them, and then a page for their artistic interpretation of that book. A few of the people included in the book are: Lois Ehlert, David Kirk, Pat Cummings, Jerry Pinkney, and Raúl Colón. I discovered a number of illustrators whose work I want to add to my list.

This is a quick read that will certainly entertain you if you’re a picture book fan, a new parent looking to find books that might appeal to you and your child, or someone who might be hoping to write/illustrate a picture book one day.

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