Sunday, October 5, 2008

South by Patrick McDonnell - review

South by Patrick McDonnell
The first two-page spread of this gorgeous little picture book made me catch my breath. On the left we see the top half of a tree, bare of leaves and full of little yellow birds, all looking in the same direction and each with a pair of eighth-notes hanging in the air overhead. On the right, it's the same view of the same tree, and all the birds are on the wing and flying out of sight. So minimal, but you can feel the chill in the air, hear their wings, see them fly.

The rest of the book is just as expressive, just as minimal, and displays, in a way that is probably difficult to discern in a tiny newspaper strip, just how good Patrick McDonnell, the creator of Mutts, is with a brush. Big hearts come in small packages sometimes.

Would make a lovely thank-you gift for a friend who has helped when you were in a jam, a talented teacher, or someone who has just pointed you on your way. I'll have to remember this one at the end of the school year.

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