Thursday, November 6, 2014

Illustrator David Wiesner

 Today our local library had a special program with author and illustrator David Wiesner, winner of three Caldecott medals.  We were already familiar with his books, owning one and having checked out others from the library, so this was a really unique experience seeing a "celebrity."

Mr. Wiesner writes mostly wordless picture books, which is a genre we have recently been exploring with books such as Polo, The Red Book, Hank Finds the Egg, and others.  David Wiesner draws inspiration from the surrealist artists and his books are imaginative and mysterious.

He walked us through his books Tuesday and Mr. Wuffles, explaining the process of sketching the first drawings to the final watercolor painting ready for the book.  He told us that it takes him 1-4 years to finish a book, which I think really surprised the kids.  Illustrating a book may look fun and easy, and while it may be fun it does take time and determination to get it done well.

He also showed us drawings that he had done as a kid which looked just like drawings any other 6 or 8 year old would draw.  He encouraged the kids that if they like to do something to keep at it because his sketches started out looking just like theirs.


He also showed us how a book is printed on one large piece of paper and then folded up to produced the final version when they cut off the edges, bind it altogether and add a cover.
Oh dear, I didn't realized Grace was blinking in this picture.  That's what happens in celebrity pictures.  You get too excited to get a good picture.  After the crowds left we were able to ask him for recommendations of his favorite wordless picture books and he gave us some great suggestions, such as The Arrival, which we immediately went off to find.

I was just thinking that as crazy as it is taking all the kiddos to the library at the same time I really am going to miss these days.  I love watching their delight at finding good books and then walking to the check-out counter still reading those books, not watching where they are going and bumping into things. 

After we get home all the books get dumped onto the floor in the living room and they go into book comas as they carefully scour each and every one.  Even though we do own quite a lot of books ourselves there is great delight in finding new books at the library and there sure is a lot more reading that goes on after our library trips.

I love public libraries!


  1. What a great post! You're very brave to take all of the kids to the library but I love your point about these days being over before we know it.

    I wish I'd known about this event. We have several of his books and read them over and over. I probably enjoy his art more than the kiddos do at this point; it's amazing!

  2. aren't libraries the best?! I love them too :)

  3. Made me smile :) That pretty much describes our trips to the library and the return home! Yesterday was library day, and we finally got all 50 books that were sprawled all over the floor put neatly on the bookshelf this afternoon :) I love that they love books!!


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