Quirky, Weird and Wonderful:

These are books that I have discovered over the years and want to celebrate.
Some are out of print, some are new, but most of them have fallen through the cracks for some reason
or another and are not on the general must read lists of books for children.
This does not mean I do not love award winners and best sellers,
but I have a soft spot for the unappreciated and misunderstood.
Please understand that my taste is eclectic, slightly warped and a bit dark.
I like books that make me laugh, books that make me cry, and books that make me think.

I welcome suggestions. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jeannie Baker - author/illustrator

I love the art of collage and author/illustrator, Jeannie Baker, is one of the best. Her work is gorgeous and full of rich details. Made from natural materials, like sand, bark, twigs and moss, her collages capture and evoke nature beautifully.

Baker is Australian and, obviously, cares about the environment. Some of her books are almost preachy, but the images are so riveting that you don't really notice. Its the details, that catch your imagination and the changing point of view. Imagine trying to see a forest and then a leaf. Baker can do that! Her books are not subtle. Instead they are carefully, lovingly constructed pleas for us to look and care about the world around us.

Where the Forest Meets the Sea
is about a tropical rainforest, Home is about city life, but both have to do with time and change and how humans impact their environments. The Story of Rosy Dock is the only picture book I know of that has to do with invasive plant species! I don't really have one favorite of her books, rather I want to give a shout out for any of them. Baker was creating books for children about the natural world long before it was fashionable. Please check them out.

Teacher Notes: It is a mess, but I've found students love making collages from natural materials like Baker's. I've seen BIG collages in the Scottish Storyline method. that were just gorgeous. Baker's books were the seed.

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