If you’re a fan of Paul O. Zelinsky’s work, you’re in for a real treat today. Not only did he stop by 7-Imp for breakfast this morning, but he is also over at Just One More Book!! today, chatting with, arguably (or probably not arguably), the hardest working bloggers in the kidlitosphere, Andrea and Mark. Oh for heaven’s sake, do NOT NOT NOT miss that podcast, because Mark and Andrea always bring the goods. Plus some.
And what an honor that he stopped by to chat with us as well. I mean, I’m downright giddy. Over at his website bio, you will read that his first book appeared in 1978 (as well as the fact that, as a sophomore at Yale, he enrolled in a course on the history and practice of the picture book, co-taught by MAURICE SENDAK, whose name I am, yes, yelling, ’cause I find that very exciting), “since which time he has become recognized as one of the most inventive and critically successful artists in the field.” Isn’t that the truth, while also almost sounding like an understatement? How about what Publishers’ Weekly once wrote about him: “Zelinsky is that rare practitioner who can create sophisticated work that adults will marvel at, and that children will joyfully embrace.” Yes, throw in that fan love—adults and children alike—which he has garnered, and…well, you can understand why I’m giddy. He has illustrated or adapted-and-illustrated so many books that we at 7-Imp adore and love and adore some more — as well as lots of other librarians all over the world. Zelinsky has said before, “I’ve…decided that I should be recognized by my unrecognizability.” And some would argue he, indeed, does that well, that his illustrations integrate so well with the text of the book he’s bringing to life with his art, that his versatility is second-to-none. Or, as he once told the Horn Book, he tries to “make the book talk, as it talks to me, and not worry whether it is in my style or not…. I get a kick out of doing each book differently.”