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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Follow Me, written and illustrated by Tricia Tusa. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomas Allen & Son. 2011. $19.99 ages 2 and up

"I wander through pink
and get lost in blue.
I rise, I fall
in purple and gray."

It's been a long time since I visited a park and took to the air on a swing. I remember the feeling of freedom and wonder as I soared above the ground, and even occasionally tried flying my way off. As I said, it's been a looooonnnnggg time, but I don't think you ever forget that feeling, do you? It felt like you might kiss the clouds.
We accept an invitation to follow this lively young lady when we open the cover of this quietly contemplative book. She helps us lose ourselves in the beauty and color of her world, rising through it before softly returning to earth, and then home.

The text is rhythmic and manageable for the young readers for whom this story is written. The illustrations are filled with color and warmth, encouraging thoughts of balmy spring sunshine and anticipated delight. It is a magical interpretation of this young girl's world as she lets her imagination soar.
Tricia Tusa used an etching process to create her light-infused, motion-filled artwork. It is a rendering of our perfect childhood memories...long, lazy spring and summer days filled with wonder, wander and whimsy! Can you see yourself in its pages? Isn't that what we do whenever we look at the world through the eyes of our children, grandchildren, young students? This is a lovely reminder to do it more often.
Of her newest book Tricia Tusa says:

“I really wanted this book to have a very imperfect, hand-done quality to it, similar to the books I loved as a child. And so I decided to use an etching process. I etched the linework into a plate, rubbing inks into the line. I then rolled the plate and paper through a press. I decided on a limited palette of color and applied it as a single layer, printing one color at a time — almost like a monoprint.

With this book, I wanted to try to convey, with as few of words as possible, the feeling of connection to self as a child — where all senses are fully engaged. An intensely satisfying relationship between you and yourself. One I discover daily … and still enjoy."

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