Saturday, June 11, 2011
It's Good to Be Weird
From Pages 26 and 27 of "Weird? Me Too!"
Poet and artist Shel Silverstein had a way of remembering what the world looked like from a child's point of view. He remembered what seemed wonderful and scary and strange or incomprehensible.
Poet and writer Sara Holbrook has that gift, too, which is one reason I love her. And why I was so happy, two years ago, when she started talking to me about the possibility of illustrating the two poetry books for kids she was writing for Boyds Mills Press.
"Zombies! Evacuate the School!" was published this time last year.
"Weird? Me Too! Let's Be Friends" came in out April to coincide with National Poetry month. What I love about this book (which will appeal to anyone who even REMEMBERS school) is that it addresses the many and varied emotions around friendships. Then as now, friendships are sources of joy and comfort, but also of confusion and difficulty. Friendship, even in childhood, is like dancing. How well do you know the dance steps? How good are you at tuning into the other person's rhythms?
Artistically, by the way, "Weird" was more challenging than "Zombies" because so many of the poems were, at heart, about feelings. But we draw about things. That means finding metaphors, or face and body expressions that speak to those heart issues.
It was an honor and a pleasure to draw for Sara's words. And as you can see, I had a bit of fun.