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.