Written and illustrated by Paul Galdone
Clarion Books 1985 – 40 pages
I was drawn to this book because of the rich hues and heavy line drawing.
When I finished the book, I thought, what a crappy story! Seriously! But the illustrations are interesting. They are composed with loose, line drawings that fill the pages with people, texture and color. I loved the first page.
The first page has minimal text, rich color, movement, and a beautiful girl. I reread the story a second time and I realized what this book was about, right on the first page. The allure is the beautiful girl, the damsel in distress.
The illustrations are heavy with loose sketch, not worked over at all, but it works. There is so much going on, your eye just wanders all over the place. But there is balance, complexity and again, the rich color.
The illustrations take up the whole page and there is a definite movement that draws the eye towards the subject. The straw serves this purpose in a million little arrows like schools of tiny fish moving toward the food.
The story is pathetically stupid. The illustrations are kind of creepy, yet alluring. The sketches are unrefined, yet flowing and beautiful. This is my favorite below. The miller’s daughter doesn’t want Rumpelstiltskin to take her baby. The body language and angling is striking.
Lessons learned: Use rich color, texture and movement and capitalize on a beautiful damsel in distress?