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This is a children's book. I have two built-in excuses for reading children's books, since I am both a mom and a teacher. But I don't think one needs to be either of those things to appreciate Lois Ehlert's playful writing style and colorful collage art. Really, this is a book for all ages. Using words and collage, Ehlert shares the story of her artistic journey. She begins by telling about her upbringing in a creative home. Then, she explains where she gets her book ideas and what the lengthy process of writing and illustrating a book is like ("an egg in the nest doesn't become a bird overnight"). Finally, in my favorite part of the book, Ehlert shows a wide variety of scrap items that she uses in her art. These include: colored paper cut in geometric shapes, vintage photos, bits of watercolor washes, carved wooden animals, Pantone swatches, metal shapes cut from an old pizza pan, birdseed, folk art, marbleized paper, and pressed leaves sent by friends from all over the world. Her enthusiasm for collage with both artistic and everyday items makes me want to try similar techniques on my scrapbook pages and cards.
After reading The Scraps Book I also felt inspired to request more Ehlert books from the library. As you see from the photo above, my son and I have a lot of colorful reading in our future. What are you reading these days?