Sometimes I want to walk right into the pages of a book, know everything the author knows, share their lifetime of experiences, and be able to emulate their creativity. Scraps: Notes from a Colorful Life makes me feel that way. I’ve even enjoyed the feeling and texture of the paper because I want in!
For you, your family members, and friends who like to collect, to create, to fiddle with this and that as you make something, this is the book to have.
It’s filled with inspiration but it doesn’t have step-by-step, numbered processes for you to go through and re-create Ms. Ehlert’s projects. That’s not the point. Instead the pages are filled with images you can decipher to figure out how you would create this type of art.
The book is filled with labels and details. I love the pages that show how Ms. Ehlert creates thumbnails for a 32-page picture book. She shows the way in which she creates an outline so she can cut out paper to make a collage. Leaves are labeled as to where she found them. A list of words to describe fish helps her create a collage of the swimmy creatures.
The best part is that, if you’re a fun of Lois Ehlert’s books the way I am (and I have thousands and thousands of children and adults standing behind me), she also shares her story. This is an autobiography that only an artist could create. And Ms. Ehlert shared it with us. I feel honored.
Do yourself a favor. Think ahead to all of the gifts you need for the crafty, artistic types in your circle, as well as those who love children’s books. This can be your go-to gift for this year’s round of giving. It’s that good!
The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life
written and illustrated and lived by Lois Ehlert
Beach Lane Books, 2014