Synopses & Reviews
For forty years, the nonprofit literacy organization Reading Is Fundamental has been putting books into the hands of children across America. To commemorate its fortieth anniversary, it has brought together forty of the most celebrated children’s book illustrators working today and asked them each to re-imagine a classic book from their childhood. The result is a collection of beautiful and captivating images and insightful essays that remind us how a child’s early experiences with books can be powerful and lasting—and can help to create writers and artists.This gift book includes a foreword by Leonard Marcus, noted historian, author, and critic in the field of children’s literature.
"Many creative takes on this volume's title emerge as an illustrious crew (including seven Caldecott Medalists and eight Caldecott Honor artists) share childhood memories of a book that left a lasting impression. For the most part, these articulate and candid commentaries play supporting roles to this handsome volume's shining stars: the full-page illustrations in which each artist creates a visual homage to his or her chosen book. Some renderings stay true to the spirit of the book's original artwork, including those created by Diana Cain Bluthenthal and Henry Cole, who both selected E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, illustrated by Garth Williams ('Mr. Williams breathed a life into the farm and its characters beyond words,' Bluthenthal comments). Other artists add a unique touch: Steven Kellogg depicts himself as a smiling lad riding on the back of Black Beauty's Ginger, restored to the spirited young horse at the novel's start; Eric Rohmann playfully honors Wanda Gg's Millions of Cats with a portrait of a paw-licking, exceedingly fat cat (the last remaining feline after the countless cats quarrel and allegedly eat 'each other all up'). Each entry captures the contributors' personality and style, offering fans a behind-the-easel peak at these talented individuals. Of reading Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are as a child, William Joyce writes, 'I got lost in that book and haven't come out since.' Similarly, readers will effortlessly lose themselves in these intriguing pages. All ages." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A lovingly conceived, cohesive, and distinctively designed treasure. This tribute is a thing of beauty and a joy for anyone whose life has ever been electrified by the experience of a book."
-School Library Journal, starred review
"[A] fascinating, royal appreciation and celebration of children’s books, one that will excite children’s literature mavens and inspire parents and teachers."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"[A] handsomely designed volume." —Booklist
To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Reading Is Fundamental brings together 40 of the most celebrated children's book illustrators working today and asks them to each re-imagine a classic book from their childhood.