Stories Breathing

h1 May 9th, 2012 by jules

(Click to enlarge)

I was hoping to wake up this morning and find that yesterday’s news about Sendak’s passing was only a dream.

Not surprisingly, some wonderful tributes have been written. Before I get to the beautiful and intriguing image above, I’ll note that below (at the bottom of this post) I share a few worthwhile tributes and links related to Sendak’s death — other than the three I mentioned yesterday morning at the New York Times, the Rosenbach Museum & Library, and Roger Sutton’s blog. (Roger’s post has been updated with a beautiful photo.)

Back to the image above (pictured right is a detail of it) … One of my favorite things about blogging about picture books—if not my very favorite—is having the opportunity to chat with picture book creators. Sure, dialogue happens here at 7-Imp, but off-blog it happens, too — often before books get released. Today’s featured illustrator, Aaron Becker, is a case-in-point. And I happen to know Aaron was very inspired by Sendak, so as we mourn the loss of the master, we also look ahead to those whose work has been shaped by the breath of Sendak’s creative vision and his honesty.

Aaron will visit 7-Imp later. His debut picture book won’t be released till next year (Candlewick), but he and I have chatted a bit, and once I saw his site at, I fell for his artwork. Don’t you agree, dear readers? I think he is one to keep an eye on. The image above is a sneak-peek at that upcoming picture book, which will be wordless, called Journey. It was rendered in ink, watercolor, and gouache.

Aaron is also a film designer and, he tells me, is slowly making the transition to doing children’s books full-time. I very much look forward to discovering the story swirling around that magical image. Is it Fall 2013 yet? I am eager to see this book.

At this link, you can see even more of Aaron’s artwork. Enjoy.

As promised, some Sendak tributes/links, in no particular order (and hardly comprehensive):

… And so many more, I’m sure, that I’m missing. Again, be sure to visit Philip Nel’s post for even more links.

* * * * * * *

The illustration in this post is © 2011 by Aaron Becker and used with permission.

18 comments to “Stories Breathing”

  1. I do agree, his artwork is beautiful – just captivates me!

  2. Ooh. I’m loving this an awful lot.
    You know whose else’s work the character there reminds me of? Louis Darling – he of long ago Ramona fame. The short, straight, spiky hair, the body that leads with the torso, the pipe-stem arms and legs.

    Oh, don’t you want to go into that big wood and see the lights glowing? I believe it’s where The Wild Things Are

  3. Tanita: YES! And I covet the girl’s home (or what I assume is her home).

  4. Thanks Melissa. And Tanita- you are on the money with the Ramona look-a-like. I always loved that haircut!

  5. amazing color (red is my favorite). love the contrast.

  6. I’m so intrigued by that illustration, I just wanted to step right into the magic forest. Lovely color and light. Thanks for the peek.

  7. […] Things Before Breakfast, 8 May 2012.  She’s gathered some more links at the end of her post “Stories Breathing,” 9 May […]

  8. Wow–I want to do a book with him!


  9. The forest illustration really captivates. I’m really interested in seeing what’s inside her tree as well.

  10. I second Jane!

  11. This is one of the most breathtaking illustrations I’ve seen in a long time! I can hardly wait for this book. Thank you so much, Jules, for sharing it!

  12. Aaron’s picture is so lovely I want to walk into it and stay a while. Definitely looking forward to this book.

  13. Enchanted by this piece. (Love wasn’t a big enough word for this one.) Is there any way to follow you on facebook or twitter?

  14. Beth, you can find me on Facebook at /aaronbeckerillustration and on twitter @storybreathing


  15. […] this post here at 7-Imp last year, I ended up getting a very early copy of Aaron Becker’s debut picture […]

  16. […] newer favorites—too many to list—but some great books I’ve read recently include: Journey by Aaron Becker; Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein; if you want to see a whale by Julie […]

  17. […] this book over at Kirkus, I shared that I found myself with a very early copy of Journey after this post from last year when I sort of stumbled upon Aaron’s artwork and website. I loved it so much that one morning […]

  18. […] Yes, I remember. That was here, and it was the same week Sendak […]

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