Friday, February 26, 2010
The other day I stopped in a used book store called Top Shelf and picked up a book called "Wheel on the Chimney." I was intrigued by the title, and when I saw it was by uber author Margaret Wise Brown, I was even more curious, though the cover art was pretty dull and unpromising. Then I opened it up and saw this spread. (click on it for a larger view.) "I'll take it," I said. The book tells the story of bird migration through a family of storks, with bold, colorful illustrations. When I got home and googled the book, I discovered it was a Caldecott Honor book in 1955. Then I googled the illustrator, Tibor Gergely (pronounced gare gay.) (I know, I was wishing it was pronounced "gurgully" too.) Turns out that aside from six months studying art in Vienna, Gergely was a self-taught artist. Born in Hungary, he fled the Nazis during WWII and came to New York, where he found great success illustrating many classic Golden Books. You can see more of his wonderful art here.
Hooray for self-taught artists! Hooray for used book stores!