Yoohoo! F+G's came today! (Folded & Gathered.) Zig looks very good. I feel great. Also, in the package, the Penguin catalog for January to April 2015. Zig will be out in March. Still over 6 months to go!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Reviewed the spot images of school visit page on web site. Feels good. (Drawings were from a project that never found a publisher. As it happens with so many projects.) Eventually need to replace a couple of images on portfolio but need to create some good horizontal pieces for that.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
On Friday, I received an e-mail from a reader of my very fist book WHEELS ON THE BUS. A thought-provoking e-mail about the lack of diversity in children's books. Thank you to Ariane and her daughter for voicing their concern. Here is our exchange:
My daughter and I recently read (well, sang) the Wheels on the Bus book from the Raffi Songs to Read series that you illustrated, and while my daughter and I liked your drawings very much, I was appalled by the fact that in the entire beautifully detailed town there is not one person of color - any color, really - included. That kind of oversight (hopefully unintentionally) communicates a message of exclusion to little kids who read the book and don't see anyone in an entire town who looks like them or their family.
On your website I noticed your portfolio only had one little brown girl featured. I truly hope that you'll consider incorporating more diversity into your art for children in the future. Below is a link to an article about the importance of diversity in children's books.
Thank you for your consideration,
Thank you for your very thoughtful note.
I am glad that you enjoyed the illustrations of WHEELS ON THE BUS. I totally agree with you that children of all colors need to be incorporated in children's literature.
WHEELS ON THE BUS was my very first assignment. I was 26, and had lived in the US for only a few months. I chose a little French town for the setting of WHEELS because that is what felt natural at the time. I grew up in small French towns which were very white. In fact, as the only Jewish kid in class, I often felt like an outsider myself. So I do understand your concern. I am not offering this as an excuse but as an explanation. I believe I would handle the assignment totally differently, were I to do it again, some 27 years later.
As far as my website is concerned, I am glad you brought this oversight to my attention. I will soon include drawings I have of children of various ethnicity.
The notion of inclusion is one of importance. Among my colleagues, this is a notion we often discuss.
Please give a hug to your daughter from me. I hope she will enjoy the little drawing I pasted above. It is from an project that has not found a willing publisher.
With all my best,
P.S. Would you mind very much if I posted your letter with my answer on my blog?