My thoughts: Adults and children alike notice stripes, ziz zags, dots, and other designs on animals and other creatures in nature, but do we really and truly notice them or accept them with a so-what attitude? Susan Stockdale uses an artist's keen eye for detail and patters to bring us a delight that examines the visual feast that is set before our eyes on a regular basis.
"Stripes of All Types explores how animals around the world wear and benefit from their stripes. I write my own books, so the manuscript came first. After composing the rhyming text, I began developing the artwork.
I started by compiling photographs to serve as visual references for the 19 animals I selected for the book. These photos helped me determine which characteristics I wanted to dramatize in each animal, ranging from the elegant, yellow stripe on the back of the eastern garter snake to the bold, white stripe running down the face of the American badger.
Next, I began creating sketches for each animal, sometimes as many as 20, until I arrived at an image that satisfied my eye. I interpreted the unique quality of each animal in my own style while staying true to its anatomy – an approach I consider stylized realism. Then I consulted with scientists to ensure the factual accuracy of my final images. Everything in each picture had to be correct, from the tree leaves that would be found near a tiger in Central Asia to the proper number of stripes on a turkey’s tail.
Once I arrived at a final image for each animal, I revised its sketch into a detailed drawing and then traced it onto paper. Then the painting began. For each color, I applied three or more layers of acrylic paint, giving the images a flat, almost silkscreen-like appearance. To produce fine detail, I used small brushes and a very steady hand."
Each page has an animal or critter with a line of rhyme. The story rhyme ends with a couple of children cuddling their striped kitties all nestled in their arms. The illustrations are bold and very colorful and certain to appeal to children. While not really "life-like," they have the stamp of authenticity because of the consultation of the artist with various scientists.
The book has been published in hardcover format in the English version. This version is a dual language publication that is fully translated and can be read in either language.
Stripes found in water,
Sliding through the weeds.
Drinking from rivers,
and darting through reeds.
Hay rayas en el agua,
y deslizándose entre hierbas.
Bebiendo de los ríos,
y atravesando los juncos.
GIVEAWAY: Peachtree has graciously provided a copy of this delightful book for one of Chat With Vera's readers to win. Make some child happy with a cute book. Begins February 14 & ENDS March 10 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to US mainland addresses only.
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DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Stripes of All Types from Peachtree Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. No compensation was received for this review.