The idea for this project the boys and I did comes from many sources: first and foremost, a friend of mine did this with her kids and she got the idea from a book. This post also inpsired me. Ultimately, it was the pictures inside this book , above, a reprint of the original published in 1951, that I recently picked up at a kids' consignment shop that finally jump started me into actually pulling out the posterboard and giving it a go last week. There are many other wonderful illustrations in this book, and the poems are classics.
Had I read up on the illustrators before having done this project with the kids, we probably would have drawn together on the same length of posterboard as more of a collaborative effort, in the style of Alice and Martin Provensen themselves, a married couple who worked together:
"Two illustrators and writers working so closely together that their styles were indistinguishable. It was the same style really, gentle drawings so delightful in their clarity that they subtly underscored the text of the dozens of children's books that they illustrated."
There is an exhibition of their work together, and an animated film series of his work, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA right now through March 12th! (Just one of the many kinds of things we miss out on by living in the boonies. There are plusses and minuses to living anywhere.)
So, we didn't work on this project together in true Provensens' style, but on the other hand, we all have such individual ways of doing things, even if that means copying or being inspired by somebody else's ideas, that it's fun to do the same project side by side and see what each of us comes up with. It looks like they're all connected, but they are, left to right, mine, E's, and R's, as if it isn't obvious. ;0) I certainly had fun drawing these fantastical row houses, even if E was done in about 30 seconds or so and I had to insist that R sit and finish his with me.
Now, I've been finding myself looking more closely at the illustrations of houses and buildings in children's books in the past couple of days, including Dr. Seuss' McElligot's Pool, and Come Over To My House, among so many others.