Review: The Scraps Book
I’ve already confessed my particular affinity for memoirs, and what could be better than a memoir that I can read with my six-year-old daughter?
You may remember Lois Ehlert’s memoir for young readers Under My Nose from the Meet the Author series, which offers a peek into the author/illustrator’s daily life, but even if you have that title in your collection, you will want to have The Scraps Book as well. The two books cover much of the same ground, but The Scraps Book looks like a Lois Ehlert book. It is full of vibrant colors and shapes put together with simple text. She shares her creative life from when she first began to make art as a kid through art school and into her picture book career. She answers the questions that kids often ask, like “Where do you get your ideas?”, and strikes just the right tone throughout. It starts conspiratorial with a warning to not read the book (unless you love books and art), and it feels generally inspirational in a down-to-earth sort of way from then on. For young would-be artists, she offers encouragement and perspective—her wastebasket is as full of mistakes as yours might be. That’s just part of making art.
My daughter enjoyed pointing out the references to Lois Ehlert’s many picture books that are in the illustrations, and we made sure to check the library for more of her work the next time we visited. It was a winner for us, and it is a solid choice for any library serving kids.