Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventure

PaulBunyan_cover

by Matt Luckhurst

{published 2012, Abrams Books for Young Readers}

Matt Luckhurst’s playground home on the web is a whimsy-thrill for your eyeballs. I particularly love this page of Paul Bunyan goodies, including the trailer:

breaker I think you can see what I mean before I even want to tell you about it. THAT TYPE.

Rewind.DPB_TypographyI read a fantastic interview last week on the KidLit Artists blog – did you see it? Illustrator Lisa Anchin interviewed Martha Rago, a creative director at Harper Collins. That piece is here, and you should totally go read it and then come back here.

Martha Rago said this, and it’s been bouncing around in my brain for a while now, and I love it:

Once I learned how to look at a font in a careful way, and how to use it, I was completely taken with type and design.  It was an emotional connection at the time, without any intellectual analysis as to why I liked type and design so much. But now, when I think about it, I see typography is a kind of 2-dimensional sculpture. A font is so carefully constructed, and each  form relates in a different way to the space surrounding it – letter to letter, word to word.

This book popped right into my head. It’s exactly that – a two-dimensional sculpture, both art itself and the words that carry the story. See what I mean:

 Matt Luckhurst’s retelling of Paul Bunyan is larger than larger than life. The exaggeration is exaggerated and the hyperbole is, well, you know. It’s a winky nod to the traditional oral tale, and twists truths with outlandish moxie.

Doesn’t it make sense? The words that originally told this story weren’t written. And then they were. And now, in a picture book, those words are the pictures?

You’ll love it.

ch

P.S. – I’m tickled by that yellow and gray graphic I made once upon a time, and how it looks like it says ‘granny’ in the bar at the top. The irony that a graphic on type has that kind of gaffe is not lost on me!

13 Comments

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Looks fabulous!

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Cracking up, re: “granny.” I forgot about this book! We got it out of the library, and loved it, and felt special, because Paul Bunyan is from Maine, you know.

    More on typography: I really love how John Hendrix talks about his typography as illustrations, here: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2013/03/artists-whore-bettern-me-1-john-hendrix_7.html

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    BAM. Thanks for that!

  • Julie Falatko
    Posted July 15, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I want John Hendrix to illustrate my life.

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I could get on board with that.

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I’ve not ever seen this book, but I love it! I love when words are pictures! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Of course!

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I knew when I read that Martha Rago quote that it was going to strike gold in your heart!

    Great book choice to illustrate her story. :-)

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Strike gold in my heart! It did! I love that.

  • Posted July 15, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    So cool! Reminds me a little of J. Otto Seibold… I might love this more. Don’t tell J.Otto!

  • Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the kind words Carter! Very much appreciated. “The words that originally told this story weren’t written. And then they were. And now, in a picture book, those words are the pictures?” – Love it!

  • Posted July 16, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    It’s like picture book Inception. Or something.

  • Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s an old tale retold. Loved the video and the book layout.

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