Monday, November 30, 2009

The Wind Singer

When told we had to do a book cover for our next assignment, somehow, I instantly knew what novel it was I wanted to illustrate. William Nicholson's 'The Wind Singer' from his Wind on Fire Trilogy has long since been an on again off again love of mine. Just when I've nearly forgotten it, it comes right back to the forefront- We're in this endless dance of memory versus time.

You might know Mister Nicholson as the screenwriter for the blockbuster smash 'Gladiator'. Nicholson's 'Wind Singer'- for me- has always had a similar vibrancy to its storytelling. A bit epic, a lot bizarre, it is the element of strangeness which propelled me to choose Wind Singer. Three children- two of them a pair of twins, Kestral and Bowman- escape from the confines of their home of Amaranth, a city enslaved by standardized testing. On a journey to set things right, they discover that in order to free their families, they must find the voice to the monument left behind by their ancestors- the rickety, large statue called 'The Wind Singer'.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Father's Dragon

As children, we sometimes have books we never want to put down. It is those characters we play with and those worlds we visit over and over again before we sleep. Places we go by ourselves or by the soothing intonations of our parents' voices.

For me, there were a number of stories that enraptured and engaged but none so much as Ruth Stiles Gannett and Ruth Chrisman Gannett's 'My Father's Dragon', 'Elmer and the Dragon' and 'The Dragons of Blueland'.

Here is Elmer Elevator and his baby dragon friend Boris soaring with the calm preluding the storm from one of my favorite scenes.