A Brief Visit with Carin Berger

h1 May 27th, 2010 by jules

(Click to enlarge spread.)

You can file this post away in the Blogging-About-Books-Sight-Unseen category, which I’ve done before here at 7-Imp. I don’t often do this, but sometimes one of my favorite illustrators will come along with a new book from which he or she wants to share some art. And, though I haven’t held the book in my hands yet and cannot personally vouch for it, I’m still willing to get up here at the ‘ol 7-Imp soapbox and yawp about it. Designer and illustrator Carin Berger (who visited 7-Imp in February of ’09) is one of those illustrators for me. Pictured above is a spread from her newest title, and below is the cover:

Publishers Weekly calls Forever Friends (Greenwillow Books, March 2010) a “quiet book about friendship,” this tale of a blue bird and a brown rabbit, good friends separated during the winter months as the bird flies South for the cold weather. The review from Kirkus makes me want to read the book even more. Here’s a good chunk of it:

Past-tense narration may jar readers at first, but it signals early on this picture book’s original treatment of time and cyclical change. Shapes and comforting matte colors layer to create blossoms, mushrooms, meadows and trees, with satisfying, simple sweetness. Words come sparingly too, in soft, measured lines that bring heart to the minimal illustrations. Berger allows ephemera (shreds of newspapers, receipts, tickets) to peek out from under layers and around edges of artwork. These flashes of everyday, human bustle produce incredibly effective incongruence, keeping readers attuned to the artist’s powerful, honed depictions of nature. Her technique leaves readers poised to discern the grid of measured time in the graph paper on which she plants trees, to see how the snow in bunny’s winter night looks identical to bird’s far-away tropical stars and to feel both the animals’ shared loneliness and immutable connection. Sophisticated, sensitive and accessible, this picture book will offer new insights and pleasures with each season.

Sounds like typical Carin-Berger goodness to me.

Carin’s here to share some spreads from it, as well as show a bit of her work-in-progress, but before that, check out this image she sent:

Carin says this is a piece of art she made around the age of ten. “I discovered it at my mom’s house,” she told me. “(Thank goodness she’s a saver.) And I love how closely it ties…to the art from Forever Friends. (I haven’t come very far, huh?)”

(You can click on each of the Forever Friends spreads below to enlarge and see them in more detail.)

Below is a peek at Carin’s work-in-progress. “I am illustrating a book called The Green Mother Goose,” she told me, “by Jan Peck and David Davis (for Sterling Publishing). {Here are} two pics of one of the illustrations as it’s being created.”

Looking forward to seeing that. Thanks to Carin for stopping by and sharing this morning . . .

* * * * * * *

Images used with permission of Carin Berger. All rights reserved.

16 comments to “A Brief Visit with Carin Berger”

  1. So lovely – one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!

  2. I have seen this book, and it is so beautiful! What a treat.

  3. thank you for that lovely call out!
    i love love love your blog.

  4. Simply lovely, so gentle. Thanks for the peek!

  5. Whoa, gorgeous.

  6. typically carin berger: lovely.

  7. I WANT THIS BOOK! (Sight unseen – but one image alone was enough to win me over!)

  8. This looks awesome! Freakin love that bird’s eye spread with the notebook and graph papers.

  9. Best wishes with The Green Mother Goose and other future works, Carin! I love seeing your artwork from then and now, and I’ll be requesting Forever Friends from the library now.

  10. Hi Jules!
    Thank you for sharing with us, Carin’s art is so refined and stylish… just love it!

  11. I just read Umbrellaphant and Leaf. Beautiful work! I loved the collages – lovely work, Carin, truly – with bonus kudos to Jack for the the wordplay and portmanteaus in Umbrellaphant! My favorite was The Panthermometer, which I plan to post for Poetry Friday this coming Friday. Thank you, Jules, for bringing my attention to Carin’s work!

  12. Thanks, Little Willow! So glad you liked them.

  13. […] My May visit with Carin, in which she shared even more art is here. […]

  14. Carin–
    I just saw your illustrations for Green Mother Goose. They are wonderful, and Jan Peck and I are SO PLEASED!
    All the best,
    David Davis

  15. hi david!

    lovely to “meet” you here on one of my very very fave blogs.

    i’m delighted that you are happy with the illustrations.

    as you can probably tell i had a lot of fun with your manuscript!

    i hope we can meet in the actual world sometime.



  16. […] you can read a pretty fantastic piece on the author/illustrator here, at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Side note, there are so many incredible librarian / teacher / mother children’s book review […]

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