SATURDAY MORNING FOR KIDS (On Sunday), Grownup edition

A Celebration of Beatrix Potter looks like a children’s picture book, but indeed, appearances can be deceiving. The Stewards of Fredrick Warne & Co. have collected more than 30 of today’s favorite children’s book illustrators’ personal celebrations of Beatrix Potter, both in words and drawings to help observe the 150th anniversary of Potter’s birth. Acknowledging that “…Beatrix Potter changed the world of children’s literature forever,” and “…has influenced generations of authors and illustrators, intertwining her legacy into their own,” the editors have completed an amazing compilation of full-page images.

Reminiscences of reading and “looking at” Potter’s tales as a child from such notable illustrators as Melissa Sweet, Peter H. Reynolds, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Brian Pinkney, Brenden Wenzel, E. B. Lewis, Betsy Lewin, Chris Haughton, David Ezra Stein, John Agee, Kelly Murphey, and Esther Krosoczka, which deal with The Tale of Peter Rabbit (published in 1902) alone, persuade the reader to recognize that many of our illustrators’ first desires to “draw” were formed by perusing the tiny details of Potter’s woodland creatures.  In this section, the masculine “take” on the evil farmer, Mr. Mc Gregor was enough to crack a chuckle from even the most serious-about-illustrations-and-art readers.

Since I have never formally taught below sixth grade, many of the names above were not as familiar to me as they are to those of you who follow and enjoy children’s books in a professional capacity; however, even I recognized the kinds of drawings and names like Tomie Paola and others, whose picture books appeal to children and grownups alike.

This is a fabulous read for one who likes “interesting details” about interesting artists and how they got their start, specifically the influence Beatrix Potter had on their art.


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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