Random Illustrator Feature:
Jen Corace’s Spin on Grimm

h1 October 22nd, 2008 by jules

It’s time for a quick Art Appreciation Moment:

I’ve already mentioned several times here at 7-Imp how much I love Cynthia Rylant’s new adaptation of Hansel and Gretel (Hyperion, September ’08), illustrated by Jen Corace (including here, when Jen stopped by one Sunday in July). Any book that opens thusly settles in and takes a cozy spot in the fairy-tale portion of my heart:

It has been said that guardian spirits watch over and protect small children, and that may be so. But there are also stories of children who find the courage to protect themselves.

Such is the story of Hansel and Gretel.

Or, as the publisher puts it in their product description, “…the witch, whose delicious house lured Hansel and his sister, Gretel, had forgotten two things about lost children: they can be very clever and very brave.” {Geeky emphasis is all mine.}

Recently, I was discussing how great this new adaptation is with a friend who had purchased a copy for his daughter, and I was all inspired again to see if Jen could share even more art from it. Lucky for me, she said yes. Here are a small handful of illustrations from the book:

And the one she shared with us last July:

Rylant makes the story her own. So much so, in fact, that — as the Booklist review points out — no credit to the Grimm brothers or to any other traditional source is given, though the review adds that the writing is “clean and well-cadenced.”

And I simply had to share some of Jen’s work in the book. I love Jen’s style. There is sometimes a darkness and always a bit of mystery to her work, making her a good fit for the darker elements of the tale. Yet, there simultaneously exists a gentleness and an innocence in her work, making her an even better fit for this tale of the brave children who outwit the monster.

Many thanks to Jen for stopping by and sharing. There’s more of her work here from our July post, here at her web site, and here at her blog. I also think I talked her into an interview. Score.

Thus ends our Art Appreciation Moment.

P.S. Thanks again to Adrienne for my first-ever glimpse of the book.

* * * * * * *

All illustrations from HANSEL AND GRETEL by Cynthia Rylant, illustration © 2008 by Jen Corace, posted by permission of the illustrator. Book published by Hyperion. All rights reserved.

9 comments to “Random Illustrator Feature:
Jen Corace’s Spin on Grimm”

  1. Whenever I see art like this I think to myself, “well, I really love coloring…” Even if I can’t draw or paint, I can enjoy the shadings and colors and imagine how greatly I will enjoy the book because of them. These are dark, textured, gorgeous.

  2. I love the innocent and vulnerable look of the children. Wonderful color scheme throughout the book too. I adore that first painting with the swan. Any chance she’s selling prints of that spread?

  3. This book looks so lovely! And Rylant is one of my all time favorites.

  4. Good question, Kristi. Try her blog and web site and such (linked at the bottom of the post). Maybe she’s got a contact address there. If not, I’m happy to ask for you or ask her to contact you if you want.

    TadMack and Jama, it’s a beautiful book, as well-written as it is illustrated. And, yes, Jama — Cynthia Rylant is a bit of a wonder, isn’t she? (the good kind…)

  5. The use of colors in these Hansel & Gretal illustrations is amazing. The bright reds and oranges, especially, draw the eye — really pull it — through the soft grays and browns surrounding. And like Kristi said, the looks on the kids’ faces are a wonder: innocent and vulnerable, but also, well, calm and concentrated. As if whatever life they had before the start of the tale had hardened them to what will happen during it.

    On her main Web site (not the blog), she mentions that some of her prints are available at Art Star. (The link is to the general storefront, not to specific artists; no sign of a way to search just for a particular artist’s work, either.) I didn’t see the swan painting there, though.

  6. First I swooned and then I revived myself and RAN–yes, IN THE LIBRARY–and grabbed one of the multiple copies I made sure our library owns of this book and read it.

    I love that book.

  7. I have to track a copy down. Thanks for featuring it!

  8. Why haven’t I read this yet? What would I do without the bloggers? There, it’s requested now! Thanks for highlighting this book. The opening alone had me sold.

  9. […] under a very nice quilt and romping through the woods in cool indie clothes.  Ooh, and I love the witch’s wallpaper.  That witch has great […]

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