Wednesday, October 17, 2012

an ode to richard scarry

Nothing brings back the flavour of my childhood like the books of Richard Scarry. There's something so warm and comforting about his illustrations, which makes you want to live there and never have to face the outside world. at the same time they stimulate curiosity and wonder. Getting this book in the mail (I have another, from when I was little, all scribbled and torn) and reading its stories and rhymes made me feel giddy and excited like 25 years ago.

This type of illustration doesn't really exist anymore. It made me think about the nature of children's books, commercial ones (glossy, sparkly, gender oriented, overtly cute) and artistic picture book ones (some completely obscure, some minimalistic design objects, some works of fine art, often more appealing to adults than children). Made me think about what got me excited and curious as a kid. made me think that there's a lot of really interesting talk, especially in Europe, about picture book illustration, but sometimes it feels largely self referential, closed in its own circle, and remote from what children actually like. It's true that the little ones need to be stimulated, that abstraction feeds the imagination, exposure to different kinds of art is truly beneficial. But sometimes it's also nice to cuddle up in the safety of a colourful, undistorted world (which doesn't mean not dreaming, not wondering!)

Richard Scarry was a true genius in the art of eliciting wonder through familiarity, simplicity, humour and beauty. 


ally said...

I loved his books as a child - and now I read them most nights to my son.
Lovely post

PostBlue said...

anche io sono cresciuta con i suoi libri!!! che mi hai ricordato!!!! bellissimo! ce li ho ancora a casa dei miei! mirna

felicita said...

ally, they're the best!

ciao mirna!

golriz lucina said...

what a beautiful blog you have. i also loved richard scarry books as a kid. thanks for reminding me about them. :)