Today we have a guest blogger Melanie Skelton: Raising six children gave me a good reason to discover the magic of picture books early in motherhood. You pull that busy toddler on your lap, or gather several children around and let them get lost in the illustrations as you read the story. Sometimes you pause to point out details, whether funny or interesting. Each page turn brings added magic to the moment as you delve into the life of a character and introduce these young pre-readers to the world of reading.
That magic is in the hands of the illustrator as they use their ability to bring the words of the author to life. Illustrators capture the details of a story and give it to us in a unique combination of lines and color. How does an illustrator step into that world to create the illustration that will hold the attention of those busy children who pick up the book? Sherry does this with her illustrations and will be teaching others the tools for accomplishing this at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers (WIFYR) on June 17.
I am intrigued by her topic, “Stepping into Your Picture.” It reminds me of one of Sherry’s books. Although “The Day the Picture Man Came” is not about an illustrator, but an old time photographer, her illustrations do create that magic of people stepping into a picture.
In Sherry’s description of the WIFYR workshop, Sherry asks, “How do you put down on paper what you are feeling about the character and the story? How do you create motion and life in your illustrations? What does the setting say about the story and the character? Will use of color and design help to create a mood for your story?” These are the things that make picture book magic and will continue to pull generations of readers in before they even understand the words on the page.