Monday, December 7, 2009

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: "This is one stylin’ book, and it’s like nothing I’ve seen this year."

Click on the image to enlarge it.

This is author/illustrator Cynthia von Buhler’s self-portrait-slash-doll. I invited Cynthia to 7-Imp this morning to share some art from her latest title, the downright luxurious But Who Will Bell the Cats? (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; September 2009). This title has been met with such lavish reviews as: “Dark, complicated mixed-media illustrations bring a humorously creepy feel to the tale…this story of an indefatigable mouse should find a welcome place on the shelves of any castle…or library” (Horn Book); “Children will find a lot to discover in the details, even after repeated readings” (School Library Journal); “Beautiful and haunting with the kinds of images kids will pore over, there ain’t nothing like it out there today. A new fable in an all-new style” (Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production); “Young readers will pore over this one again and again” (Kirkus)…Oh, I could go on.

You all know the old Aesop fable, The Mice in Council, about the discussion of belling the cat by those poor mice. Cynthia has embellished this tale with inimitable style, rendered in detailed multimedia collage, adding a stately castle, a princess, an impoverished mouse and his sidekick friend, the Bat, and much more to the tale.

Including gilt. Lots of it. “(W)ouldn’t it be nice to give a princess-obsessed child something gorgeous to the eye with a truly original concept, story, and look, but without the standard pretty pretty princess conceit?” wrote Betsy Bird. Enter Cynthia. This is one stylin’ book, and it’s like nothing I’ve seen this year.

I’ve gotten to where I don’t even like to post about picture books anymore unless I can in some way show some art from it. The added extra benefit of that is I can shut my trap and let the art speak for itself. Or, in this morning’s case, let the artist, as well, tell you in her own words all about the book — and her creative process in bringing it to us. So, without further ado, here’s Cynthia, and I thank her for visiting. - Jules, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Read the whole article HERE.