Quick Art Stop with LeUyen Pham

h1 May 25th, 2010 by jules

I’m a LeUyen Pham fan. Say that three times fast. This is her title page spread from Douglas Wood’s Aunt Mary’s Rose, released by Candlewick in March.

Aunt Mary’s Rose tells the tale of one family through the generations, the author’s family, in fact: A young Douglas is staring at the rosebush in his aunt’s backyard, wondering what his Aunt Mary meant when she instructed him to take care of it, that “one day there will be a little bit of you inside of it. And a little bit of the rose inside of you.” Aunt Mary eventually explains how she once took care of the rosebush as a child after her daddy instructed her to; how she raised her nephews (including Douglas’s father), who in turn took care of the rosebush after their Grandpa died; and on and on. Through the Depression, war, and great loss, the rosebush thrives, the family always nurturing it, their family legacy living through it. This is one of your nostalgic picture books — a well-done one, not too heavy on the syrup, providing a good introduction to rural farm life during the ’30s and ’40s (as the School Library Journal review points out). Or even, as Kirkus points out, children may be prompted to ask their own grandparents about their lives after taking this one in.

LeUyen’s art for this one, occasionally rendered to look like old sepia-toned photographs, is tender and sweet. At times, it’s quite moving. Her rosebush endpapers are worth the price of admission alone. Below are a couple spreads and a sketch from LeUyen. Enjoy the quick picture-book art stop.

“‘Your daddy and Dick loved the farm,’ Aunt Mary continued. ‘They followed Grandpa out to the barn in the early mornings at milking time and helped him squirt milk into the cats’ open mouths.'”

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AUNT MARY’S ROSE. Copyright © 2010 by Douglas Wood. Illustrations © 2010 by LeUyen Pham. Published by Candlewick Press. Images reproduced by permission of the illustrator.

8 comments to “Quick Art Stop with LeUyen Pham”

  1. I’m such a fan of LeUyen Pham’s that I occasionally just stop at her website to gaze around in awe. She has such a range and scope of drawing styles — I’m always gobsmacked that she’s not more well-known. I mean, she’s successful, yes, but her name isn’t up there yet with, say, Maurice Sendak’s.

    Well, we’ll keep working on it.

  2. I wasn’t familiar with Pham, until I picked up Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Maybe having her name linked with the well known AKR will give her a boost.

  3. LeUyen Pham always captures personalities so well. A have a number of her books and love the variety of styles she’s able to do perfectly. I think my favorite book of hers is Big Sister, Little Sister.

  4. I am SUCH a fan. Can’t tell you how often I have suggested her for a project of mine.

    She is protean and amazing.


  5. Kitties!

  6. Oooo! Yay! I love LeUyen Pham, and thank goodness, so does my son. He’s only 11 months, but one of his favorite books is “Sing-Along Song” illustrated by Pham. I adore the boy in that book, and my son gets so happy seeing how happy he is. That’s one talented illustrator!

  7. […] morning over at Kirkus, I write about two picture books that caught my eye — LeUyen Pham’s A Piece of Cake (Balzer + Bray, May 2014) and Phyllis Rowand’s It Is Night (Greenwillow […]

  8. […] week, I wrote about LeUyen Pham’s A Piece of Cake (Balzer + Bray, May 2014) and Phyllis Rowand’s It Is Night (Greenwillow […]

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