Some illustrators have 1 or 2 recognizable styles, which is generally recommended so that the publisher knows what they'll be getting. But then there are people like Paul O. Zelinksy, who you might call a Renaissance man because of his different styles and facility with using different materials.
When I had the good fortune of interviewing Paul for our Craft and Business of Illustrating Children's Books course, I asked him about this and he basically said that he lets the story dictate the style and materials. I imagine that because he's a best-selling multi Caldecott honoree as well as a Caldecott winner (the highest award for children's book illustration) Paul can pretty much do whatever he wants because whoever hires him knows that he'll go above and beyond to do something extraordinary (hence the Caldecotts).
A spectacular example of this is The Wheels on the Bus, which Paul adapted and illustrated 25 years ago and which is being reissued with a new cover for it's 25th anniversary. I LOVE this book so much that I made a little video review of it. I hope that you'll share it so that others can learn about this great mentor text where Paul visually shares not only his craft but also his multi-layered super smart, culturally pluralistic visual storytelling above and beyond the words. It's quite extraordinary (I keep using that word).
I also wanted to give a shout out to a couple of other books by Paul so you can get a glimpse at his virtuousity:
Comments are always welcome!
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the fabulous debut author/illustrator Maggie Brown.
And 5th Mondays will feature a surprise reprise from over nine years of archives.