Garth Williams, American Illustrator: A Life | by Elizabeth K. Wallace and James D. Wallace

Garth Williams, American Illustrator: A Life
by Elizabeth K. Wallace and James D. Wallace
(Beaufort Books, 2016, 250 pages)

Garth Williams, American Illustrator: A Life written by Elizabeth K. Wallace and James D. Wallace is a biography of the famous children’s book illustrator, Garth Williams. Garth Williams was born in New York City in 1912, but moved to England with his mother during his school years. His father was an artist, but was not around during most of his younger years. Garth Williams is an interesting man. Over the course of his life he had 4 wives, 6 children, and moved several times with his final stop being Guanajuato, Mexico.

At the beginning of his career, Garth Williams thought that he would illustrate children’s books to earn enough income to become a serious artist. Those children’s book illustrations not only provided an income, but made him internationally famous. Williams illustrated such famous classics as Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, The Cricket in Times Square, and The Little House on the Prairie series.

At the beginning of the book, the authors explain that it would be difficult to cover Williams’ life in chronological order. The book does some jumping back and forth and is a little repetitious. I found it a little distracting. However, the life and works of Garth Williams is interesting and worth a read.

A Complex Delight | by Margaret R. Miles

A Complex Delight: The Secularization of the Breast, 1350-1750

A Complex Delight: The Secularization of the Breast, 1350-1750 by Margaret R. Miles
(University of California Press, 2008, 196 pages)

This is an interdisciplinary study of early modern European depictions of the breast. Miles charts the changing contexts of these images from their place in religious art to representations of the breast in medical and pornographic literature of the early modern era. Miles tells a story about the secularization of Europe through a historical and theological study of religious, anatomical, and erotic images. This book should be helpful to those with interests in art history or theology.

Sense and Spirituality | by James McCullough

Sense and Spirituality: The Arts and Spiritual Formation by James McCullough
(Cascade Books, 2015, 146 pages)

This book is an exploration of the way that the arts can play a part in spiritual formation. McCullough uses diverse examples of modern and contemporary art, including the poetry of T. S. Eliot, the paintings of Makoto Fujimura, and the compositions of James MacMillan. If you’re interested in theology and aesthetics, this is a great book to pick up.

Side by Side | by Leonard S. Marcus

Side by Side: Five Favorite Picture-Book Teams Go to Work

Side by Side: Five Favorite Picture-Book Teams Go to Work by Leonard S. Marcus
(Walker Books for Young Readers, 2001, 64 pages)

Side by Side looks at five different picture book teams who have worked together to create successful picture book collaborations. Each of the teams highlighted came into their working relationship in different ways and it was interesting to read about how they worked together. Prior to reading this I hadn’t realized that a lot of the time authors and illustrators don’t know each other in advance. Publishers will often read an author’s work and then reach out to an illustrator that they think would be the best fit for the feel of the story.

This book was interesting to me as a parent, picture book lover, and librarian, but it’s also accessible to younger readers who may have an interest in writing or illustrating children’s books.