Written and Illustrated by Elisha Cooper
Published by Orchard Books – 2006
Okay, I just have to say, I love Elisha Cooper’s books. When I first saw Farm, I read it over and over. I feel like a kid when I look at his illustrations, my curiosity and imagination take off and I easily get lost into the pages. He is literally illustrating. Not showing us a picture of something, but truly illustrating the feeling of a certain time or place that we have all been to.
Rather than telling ho drum story, Cooper let’s us drum up our own. His characters are so minimal as if they were sketched, right there on scene. And maybe that is what makes them so alive. They are so expressive and I absolutely love them. I want to be them, sitting on that beach.
I also love the simplicity of the writing. In Beach, amongst all this hustle and bustle, the writing brings you back to that place of calm. The calm is in the minute details that take you even closer into the book.
“A woman lathers on sunscreen and reaches for the spot that cannot be reached”
It’s so human.
There are two spreads throughout the book with no text that provide great pause.
All the illustrations are just beautiful.
I could read a hundred of his books. They’re not showy, selfish, egotistical, slapstick, kitschy, or stupid. They are right on point and a delight to read.
Lessons learned: Stories don’t need an elaborate story with a conflict and resolution to be successful. Body composition can reveal a lot of mood and feeling.