Artist Praise!

Voice Card  -  Volume 7  -  Stuart Card Number 1  -  Sat, Jul 1, 1989 9:36 AM

This is a response to Vol 6 Tomás 1 ("Stuart, the Cat & the Crab")...

Tomás, you're doing wonderful work! I Iike your idea about achoos flying all over the page, even through, off, and behind the text! For the rest of the poems that you've seen so far, I think your suggestion regarding one picture per poem is a sound one.

By the way, after a lull caused by trying to finish up the other poetry manuscript on which I'm working, I'm finally getting back to the alphabet poems (currently working on "O"; the first lines go - "The orchids and ostriches oinked at the ocean / When out of the outback an old man appeared / Who offered an orange from under his beard" - I'll give you a progress report in the next issue).

With regards to the colorized version of The Cat and the Crab - Ted Turner eat your heart out! It really is quite enchanting, Tomás.

The only thing I have to say that remotely resembles a criticism has to do with the carton of ice cream that the cat is holding. Is there some way to label the carton or otherwise make it clearer that it is ice cream that the cat is holding? I find that I had to look up the poem again, since I didn't have it handy, to remember that it was the ice cream from Mars that he/she was offering the crab.

Now this might not make any difference when the picture is placed next to the poem in a book. It might even be a plus, increase the interface, the dynamic between the picture and the text, sort of be a cognitive tool that makes a child (or a parent) examine the poem more closely and then the picture again. This is the sort of dynamic one sees in other children's books, for example that wonderful book by Nancy Willard, A TRIP TO WILLIAM BLAKE'S INN, POEMS FOR INNOCENT AND EXPERIENCED TRAVELERS, which I'd highly recommend to your five year old son (give him my congrats on his swimming across the deep end of the pool, by the way).

Anyway, to make a rambling voice card short, YOU DONE REAL GOOD! I'm pleased that the rest of the group can get a chance to see your work in this issue. Huzza!