Archive | 5:23 pm

Homage to Melissa Sweet

20 Jan

I recently read Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter

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and was reminded how much I like the art of Melissa Sweet. It is an interesting and true story about an adventurous woman who defied the skepticism about her sites for the trip, and journeyed to China to bring the first panda to the United States. Sweet’s collages carry the story along so that you feel you are there, at that time. It is a technique she used to great effect In  A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant.

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This biography of William Carlos Williams was the perfect vehicle for Sweet’s art.  In the same way that the poet collected and used everyday life, Sweet uses everyday objects to illustrate the text. She won a Caldecott Honor for it.

Last year, she won the Sibert award for Balloons Over Broadway which she write and illustrated.

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It’s the biography of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who invent the giant inflatable balloons that are a mainstay of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. No collage here, but a very interesting story with wonderful illustrations.

In the Spring, our 4th grade team will do a heroes unit and collage is an integral part of the Arts for Learning Unit. They will have a local artist come in for a residency. Melissa Sweet is an author/artist that the kids and teachers can keep coming back to.

 

Her newest book is A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin written by Jen

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I have it on hold at the library, but I’m looking forward to reading it. And admiring the illustrations.

 

Randy Ribay

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