Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just booklove miscellany in general.
I borrowed this a year ago but did not get a chance to really go over the entire book at the time. Under the Spell of the Moon as noted by Katherine Paterson in her beautiful Foreword is a “gift of children’s illustrators from every continent and even the far-flung islands of the world” in honor of IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People).
Award-winning illustrators donated a work of art that is based on any text of their choice drawn from their culture and in recollection of their childhood. This is actually pretty similar to The Art of Reading as organized by Reading is Fundamental.
There is a great variety of artwork and text here from riddles to a single inspiring line, from nursery rhymes to poetry – all beautifully illustrated by artists from Brazil, Japan, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden, China, Malaysia, India, Nicaragua, Spain, South Africa, Palestine, and so many more, as you can see below:
One of my favourites in this collection: Good Night, Children by Mitsumasa Anno – written in two languages, the translations done by Stan Dragland.
There are also a few artworks that I recognize right away because of the distinctive style or flair of the artist.
This one is unmistakably Kveta Pacovska’s. I reviewed her artsy twist to Charles Perrault’s Cinderella here.
Who wouldn’t recognize Vera Williams’ bright colours and signature shades? Click here for my review of More, More, More Said the Baby.
The keen eye for detail by Trina Schart Hyman is evident in her tribute to Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Hayloft.
There are also a few that are unfamiliar to me. And I am keen on getting to know more of their works:
From Linda Wolfsgruber, Austria.
Isn’t this simply glorious? By Nasrin Khosravi from Iran. I love how soft the images are, as if made of clouds.
Quite a few as well from Asia. The one above is from Malaysia with Jainal Amambing’s The Beautiful Land of God. I love the indigenous vibe of the artwork.
This one is done by Pulak Biswas from India.
Another one of my favourites, this time from South Africa: Piet Grobler’s Everybody has a Song.
This is indeed a valuable gift from so many talented artists to children or the young-at-heart all over the world. While I would have wanted a particular unifying theme across the artworks, I suppose it also helps that the illustrators were given a free rein in selecting anything from their culture and their childhood and memorializing it through their art. Find it, dear friends, and be spellbound.
Under the Spell of the Moon: Art for Children from the World’s Great Illustrators. Edited by Patricia Aldana, Foreword by Katherine Paterson and texts translated by Stan Dragland. Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2006. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.