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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Think Big, written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Bloomsbury, Penguin. 2012. $18.00 ages 3 and up

Blank page
Scene set
Pinch salt
Dice, chop
Click, flash
Time stop
Big voice
On pitch"

As you read the 61 words in this book, your mind will race with thoughts, memories and high regard for Liz Garton Scanlon who in two word lines has captured the heart and soul of the matter the medium or the skill level.

Vanessa Brantley Newton magically chronicles the energy and industry of a group of enthusiastic artists who are preparing for their very own art show. On the front endpapers, she fills shelves with bold color, an exceptional array of materials and an invitation to come along and see what happens when children are allowed to explore their creative spirits.

Poets are adept at finding the right words to convey their ideas and thoughts in the most precise and perfect way. In two word lines and rhyming couplets, Liz Scanlon introduces us to all manner and means of creating beauty in the hands of young children. They bring such joy to life and their project. I don't know that they miss a single beat in their quest to entertain the audience.

Accompanying the bursting-with-energy rhyme are a group of five...only five? high-spirited young artists who delight in every artistic pursuit. They are painters, musicians, thespians, set designers, chefs, photographers, singers, tailors, potters, and dancers...even sign painters, crafters and wait for it...performers. The pages sing with joy, in charcoal and mixed media illustrations using collage, draw attention constantly to the delight the children find in their imaginations as they lovingly prepare for their 'show'. An enthusiastic crowd enjoys every brilliant moment. We, too, have a front row seat. 

It makes me want to jump right in and join them!

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