Y'all, this is an incredible book founded on the celebration of everlasting love between a husband and a wife and it ROCKS! Kelly Starling Lyons' tender poetic prose nails the inquisitive nature of Ellen, a young girl learning about great happiness born from hardship - all in the name of marriage and of freedom.
I really enjoyed working on Activity/Discussion Guide. Not only is the story amazing, the illustrations....oh, my golly gosh! Daniel Minter's linoleum block prints blew my socks off! To imagine the patience and skill required to carve away with such delicate precision baffles me.
I spent hours studying the movement of his lines and the expressive faces of his subjects. There is one spread, in particular, that I love in which Ellen and her family are gathered by the fireplace and her father has his hand on her shoulder. So sweet... And, man-oh-man, does Daniel know how to play with color and light for effect. There's a haunting spread that is so tastefully unsettling it will be etched in my memory for the rest of my life. (I'm not telling you which one it is, either. Get the book and see for yourself.)
So, let's dedicate this Simple Saturday post to the fabulous art of Daniel Minter, illustrator for Ellen's Broom, want to? There is a detailed explanation of the Styrofoam Meat Tray Block Printing a-la Simple Saturday-esk technique described in the Activity/Discussion guide I made for Kelly. (Close your eyes, Daniel. This might make your stomach roll.)
Where Daniel skillfilly carves his master pieces, I basically used the point of a pencil like trowel and sketched something that, hopefully, resembles a tree. (I see you smirking...Don't laugh.)
Then I spread black paint all over my meat tray block print and made a print. After my print dried, I used tempera paint to fill in white space with color. What do you think about my apple tree? Pretty spiffy, eh? Not bad for a novice. I'm sure you can do a whole lot better. Try it. Make a meat tray block print. It's fun!!!
And, more importantly, take a look at Ellen's Broom, when you get the chance. Get lost in Kelly's wonderful words perfectly complimented by Daniel's incredible artistic sensibilities.
Much like my own! Ha!