My friend, Bridget Strevens -Marzo, recently sent me a calendar she had printed with the artwork from an upcoming book she illustrated, Mini Racers by Kristy Dempsey, soon to be published by Bloomsbury. I’m so crazy about it I would love to talk about why I think this works on so many levels. I asked Bridget if this was originally conceived as a calendar or picture book because it could work so well as either. Graphically, the bold directional compositions lead the “reader” through the year like we’re following a race, which makes for a clever calendar concept. As the twelve racers line up at the start you immediately take them all in, trying to decide who is your favorite (I can’t decide between the frogs or the owls, or the intrepid snail!) and by December you’re actually cheering on your racer, or lamenting your racer who fell off, as they do, one by one. And as important as page turns are in a picture book, so are the months here, because for 12 times, every 30 days or so we get to dwell on the many fun details, almost like the race has paused. Engines revving, we move into the next month and we’re back in the race. The drawings capture the nuanced expressions of the characters and the palette is both childlike and sophisticated. Whether this is a book or calendar isn’t important. What is important is that it successfully tells a story with pictures only, and keeps the reader turning the pages.
See Bridget’s work at www.bridgetstrevens.com
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