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  • Writer's pictureSharon Fujimoto-Johnson

Three Beautiful Books about Creators

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

The stories of an artist, an architect, and a poet are beautifully rendered in these three books. Mary Blair, Maya Lin, and Pablo Neruda's stories remind us how creators of different kinds bring a bit of magic into the world through their imagination. Although these creators all worked in different fields, they each felt a driving sense of purpose, and in listening to their hearts, they brought their dreams to fruition and made the world richer as a result.

Pocket Full of Colors

Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire by Amy Gugliemo and Jacqueline Tourville and illustrated by Brigette Barrager

As a child, Mary Blair began collecting all the colors she encountered in the world. By the time she became an artist at Walt Disney Studios, Mary had a vast array of colors in her pocket: lemon yellow, russet, sienna, azure, celadon, cerise, magenta, indigo, and emerald. Her bold colors and vision challenged the black-and-white world of the men surrounding her. When Mary was asked to design the iconic Disneyland ride "It's a Small World," she at last had a purpose for all the colors she had collected throughout her life. The vivid colors and gorgeous illustrations in this book make it a feast for the eyes. It is equally an inspiring tale of a woman who created magical worlds in art.

Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk

The soft, restrained illustrations in this book evoke the quiet strength of Maya Lin, most well-known as the student of architecture who designed the Vietnam Memorial. This story takes Maya from her imaginative childhood through her creative process in imagining the Vietnam Memorial and beyond to her presence as an established artist-architect of light and lines and a creator of monuments to our collective memory.

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown and illustrated by Julie Paschkis

"Once there was a little boy named Neftali, who loved wild things wildly and quiet things quietly. From the moment he could talk, Neftali surrounded himself with words that whirled and swirled, just like the river that ran near his home in Chile." So begins this love letter of a picture book to the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. On each richly painted page, words swirl and weave into the illustrations that evoke the landscape, everyday objects, and people of his beloved country. In this telling, even Neruda's activism and life as a fugitive are painted within the context of his love of humanity as a creator of words. In this beautiful book we hear echoes of his poetic voice across time.


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