Checking in with Lauren Castillo and Leslie Evans

h1 December 16th, 2009 by jules

For the past several weeks, I’ve been highlighting the recent work of folks whose work has been featured previously at the blog — either in some kind of feature or interview. They happened to all be men, and so I determined to shine the spotlight on some women. Since it’s so close to the holidays and I’m generally disorganized, I don’t have as many women lined up here: In fact, I’ve got Lauren Castillo and Leslie Evans today, and I hope to bring you some work from the delightfully subversive and always surprising Mini Grey very soon. And that’s it. But perhaps this is something I can continue in the new year.

Lauren Castillo was the subject of something like my second-ever seven-questions-over-breakfast interview back in 2008. I love her work, though here’s my confession: I haven’t read her two most recent illustrated titles, featured here today. It is, arguably, colossally stupid of me to feature books I haven’t read yet, but did I mention I like Lauren’s work? And will it make sense for me to say she sometimes has a Margot-Zemach vibe that I love, while still possessing her own unique Lauren-stamp? So there you have it, and I’ll be looking for copies of these soon.

First off is the very talented Kate Banks’ That’s Papa’s Way; I’ve got one of Lauren’s illustrations for that opening this post. This book, which captures the joy of a father-daughter outing and the “quiet, understated love between a parent and child” (Booklist), was released in April of this year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. “{The father and daughter’s} understanding of each other is deep and intimate, evident in both text and Castillo’s illustrations,” wrote Kirkus. “Her soft, reassuringly thick outlines contain this happy pair, even as they are cradled within their boat, which in turn is held gently by the waves. Thick, matte stock completes the warmly rumpled look of this loving snapshot.” This book was met with good reviews all-around. Must find it. (Most of these images below can be enlarged and seen in more detail by clicking on them.)

(Click this final spread to see the entire spread
from which the above two images come.)

And here’s a round-up of posts at Lauren’s blog that are about this title.

I’ve got more Lauren-art in a second, but let’s check in with Leslie Evans. Leslie, a letterpress artist, visited 7-Imp almost exactly one year ago. Back then, she was telling us all about her new illustrated title, Winter Trees by Carole Gerber. And she mentioned her forthcoming title, Faces of the Moon by Bob Crelin (Charlesbridge, July 2009). Well, I have seen a copy of this one, and it’s an engaging non-fiction title which introduces the names and shapes of the lunar phases and answers the question for young readers, why does the moon change shape? Leslie’s hand-watercolored linoleum cut prints are striking, and the book is beautifully-designed:

(Click to enlarge.)

Again, here’s last year’s post on Leslie, if you want to see and read more.

Finally, here is some art from Lauren’s second illustrated title of ’09, Big Cat Pepper by Elizabeth Partridge (Bloomsbury, May 2009), which evidently addresses the death of a family’s pet cat. Now then and oh my, that is just sad. And, again, I haven’t seen this title yet. But here’s Lauren’s art. (With the exception of the book cover, these images can be clicked to enlarge.)

That was quick, I know. But there’s holiday shopping to be done. Until next time…(And enjoy these cozy, warm images here, ’cause Mini Grey’s up next and she’s been up to no good. And I love her for it.)

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All images used with permission of the illustrators. All rights reserved.

2 comments to “Checking in with Lauren Castillo and Leslie Evans”

  1. Thanks for sharing these books! Lauren’s illos are so warm and comforting. I like the earthy palette. Blueberry pie and fish :)!

    Leslie’s art is stunning — very distinctive. Looking forward to checking out the moon book!

  2. Nice to feature some of the field’s finest female work (how’s that for alliteration?)… Personally, I think I have a little crush on Lauren’s work.

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