Library News – January

I did a course, a couple of years ago in Children’s Book Illustration. I’ve found it very useful. The skills it taught me have gone into a stream of birthday cards for friends and family, the Bible story cards for Nicky’s snakes and ladders game, and our Christmas cards.

Action, Reaction, Interaction, that’s the mantra for illustrations. Something must be happening, the characters must be reacting to something, interacting with each other. The picture must pull you into the story, must tell you something more than the plain words. The “more” can be the emotion it shows, or it can be the extra details a picture can bring, perhaps the echo of other scenes, or a telling point of character.

Picture books are not just for children, though we have plenty of those in the Library. Pictures can work as powerfully for adults. Let me recommend two books by Mary Fleeson, “Life Journey”, and “A Life in Christ”. These are books for prayer and meditation, illustrated by richly crafted pictures that weave together images and patterns to give great emotional depth to her text.

Let me recommend also two books on Icons, Linda Proud’s “Icons, a Sacred Art” and Tradigo’s “Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church”. Icons are not just elegant paintings of saints. They are very stylised and full of detail. It is this detail that is designed to draw us further in, symbols to help us see through the life of the saint to the glory of God.

And if you want action pictures, we have “The Lion Graphic Bible” by Jeff Anderson and Mike Maddox which is the Bible as a graphic novel, a comic book. Now there’s action, reaction and interaction! You don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy that.

Rosemary Smith

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