Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Margaret Read MacDonald and my daughter

On Saturday, we were all revved up to see Recess Monkey at the central Seattle Public Library branch when we found out Margaret Read MacDonald was telling stories at Island Books. Lucia enjoys the music of Recess Monkey quite a bit, but she has a connection with Margie (as the great Dr. MacDonald introduces herself), and opted to attend the storytelling event instead. Lucia drew a picture of Aree and her friends wearing layers of dresses, based on the Thai story The Girl Who Wore Too Much. Here is the picture:

Margaret Read MacDonald told some of her favorite stories from the picture-books she's published, including The Squeaky Door and The Old Woman and Her Pig. My favorite picture-book by MacDonald is Fat Cat, illustrated by Julie Paschkis, and it was to my delight that when MacDonald unveiled her new book, a British variant on the Beauty and the Beast story called The Great Smelly, Slobbery, Small Tooth Dog, Paschkis had provided the drawings once more.

What I wish you could see are the end-papers. Paschkis drew different plants to symbolize the emotions that develop in the story, and the end-papers have illustrations of these plants plus their symbolic meanings. I cringe to see how this book will be bound for library copies, as beautiful end-papers are often spoiled by the necessary steps to process books for public use. Is this a clever marketing ploy to get people to buy copies of the book for their own collections? It works! I bought a copy of the book for my godmother, but I think I may have to reconsider the notion that I don't need a copy for myself. Lucia concurs.


Lone Star Ma said...

What a lovely day! And what a lovely child! Lucia has really grown into a beautiful little girl. She is just one year older than the LSB, yes? Her artwork is EONS more advanced than my girl's scribbles...is she going to be an illustrator?(:

Melangell said...

Oh, I love Fat Cat, and the illustrations for this Small Tooth Dog, from what I can see through Amazon, are rich and lovely.

Yes, Lucia has a gift for both drawing and storytelling, lovely to see.

HipWriterMama said...

I love Lucia's picture! Hope you've got that one framed and on the wall.

I smiled at this particular picture of Lucia. If she had long sandy brown hair down her back, no bangs, sometimes in pigtails, she would resemble my middle daughter's best friend. I hate comparisons like this, but it was so striking, I had to mention it.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

LSM: Thanks! Lucia's artwork has taken a leap in the past year. Comparisons are odious, but for the longest time, she was "behind" other children developmentally in terms of drawing.

Melangell: If I had my wish, Julie Paschkis would illustrate all of MacDonald's picture-books.

HWM: We actually gave the original to Margie and kept a scan for ourselves. Lucia's drawings are peppered all over her work-space. How funny that she looks like one of your daughter's friends-- children are so mutable! By the way, for all that Lucia claims she wants braids, when it comes down to braiding her hair, she scurries away.

SevenImpossible said...

How cool! And, my God, she's beautiful (your daughter, that is. Okay, MacDonald, too).

jules, 7-Imp

Sean said...

MRM is fine person, is she not?

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Jules: Thank you. I have to laugh when I see that picture, though, because Lucia is trying so hard to smile for the camera, and it's coming out rather silly-like. O, for the days of unselfconsciousness!

Sean: MRM is a nonpareil. Thanks so much for stopping by.