October 03, 2012

Gestalten: Little Big Books - Illustrations for Children's Picture Books

I am very happy to get a review copy of this one finally to show you here at fine fine books. It's such a treasure trove for book illustrations and my expectations have all been fulfilled. "Little Big Books" published by Gestalten includes features about the finest illustrators of children's picture books, among them Frank Viva, Camilla Engman, Louis Rigaud, Chiara Armellini, Juanjo G. OllerMarjolaine LerayLena Sjöberg, Joelle Jolivet, Atak, Bernardo Carvalho (I only miss a few like Emma Adbage, Madalena Matoso, Katrin StanglValerio Vidali). It all starts with a brief history of children's picture books introducing key artists like Tove Jansson, Maurice Sendak, Bruno Munari, Leo Lionni, Dick Bruna, Lisl Stich. Alongside the spreads with illustrator portraits the book contains interviews with experts like Martin Salisbury about publishing rights and licensing, educational aspects and psychology of picture books and their future.

It has rarely been so hard for me to single out the "best" pages and my copy is full of post-it-notes as you can see. Well, here are my personal favourites:

Bernardo Carvalho

Each illustrator can be located in the index in the back of the book, there you'll find the page numbers where they've been featured and their website. 
Elisa Géhin 
Laurent Moreau
The book is edited by Robert Klanten and Hendrik Hellige and published by Gestalten in July/August 2012. This is what the publisher writes about it:
"Featuring the work of the best up-and-coming illustrators and creators of picture books for children, Little Big Books is a captivating showcase of what is state-of-the-art in today’s children’s books. 
Despite, or because of, the ubiquity of televisions and computers, picture books have remained popular with kids and parents. These books have also not lost their appeal for illustrators and publishing houses—not least because a hit children’s book can serve as the lucrative basis for TV programs, video games, toys, or other merchandising. In addition to its presentation of cutting-edge visuals from around the world, Little Big Books offers insightful texts for those who hope to create or market visual content for children. These include interviews with experts about the educational aspects, make-up, and psychology of children’s picture books as well as the significance of children’s book awards and practical advice on publishing rights and licensing. The publication is rounded out with an introduction that puts current work into the historical context of classic books by the genre’s seminal pioneers."

Chiara Armellini
If you want to see more and I guess most of you do, you can pick up a copy right here or here or everywhere where fine books are sold.

Cecilia Afonso Esteves
(Little Big Books: Illustrations for Children's Picture Books, 24 x 30 cm, 240 pages, €39.90, Gestalten, ISBN 978-3-89955-446-5)