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.
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!