The yellow mailing envelope was calling my name. It was even out of my sight, on the island while I was making stuffed shells for dinner. Then I realized I couldn't remember placing an order this week. Suddenly, the idea of not knowing what I ordered got the best of me and my spices had to wait a minute. I opened my yellow mailing envelope and discovered I did place an order, it was a pre-order which means today is a book birthday! Happy Book Birthday to - the SCRAPS book by Lois Ehlert! Now, my spices were on hold for much longer than a minute. Good thing the shells had about 5 more minutes to boil and the homemade sauce that was frozen still needed to defrost on the stove.
Lois Ehlert begins her sharing with pieces from her childhood. I loved a black and white photograph of her parents with this caption, "My mom and dad returning after hunting for wild asparagus." People hunt for asparagus? I want to know more. She gives tribute to her mom for sharing her sewing supplies with her. She gives tribute to her dad for sharing his woodshop with her. One whole page is a photograph of her art table she used while growing up. Next, she shares several stories about where her ideas come from. Nuts to You! was conceived when I real squirrel came in her house. Feathers for Lunch is based on a visit she had with her sister and her cat Bucky. She even shares how she wrote this book from the cat's version first and then wrote a version from the owner's point of view. She shares many interesting tidbits about her medium, collage. She rubs a crayon over a grater add texture. She makes collage sound so easy with every day materials. Throughout the entire book there are collage examples from her books, labeled with tidbits of information.
When Lois graduated from art school she didn't make books right away. She shares, "Everyone needs time to develop their dreams. An egg in the nest doesn't become a bird overnight." Who doesn't need this reminder, especially anyone working with children. Then again at the end of the book she asks the reader if they want to know why she chose to be an artist. Lois' reply, "I think maybe it's the other way around. Art chose me."
So, to get this detailed book information to share with you I did have to spend more time with the book than making my spices wait another five minutes. I think everyone should own this fun, beautiful, informative auto biography. This book makes me want to go to school tomorrow and launch a whole great big author study on Lois Ehlert. We can be just like Lois. Sketching, planning, observing and creating with materials.