Ciao, dear Imps.
In the early 1960s, a picture book about books was released, which evidently was selected as one of the best fifty books of the year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. You can see a page from it above. Written by Murray McCain and illustrated by American graphic designer and illustrator John Alcorn (who, I just read, designed the opening titles for several Federico Fellini films), Books! has been re-released this year by an independent publishing house in Italy, called Topipittori, after the University of Milan acquired Alcorn’s drawings and materials. Here’s the low-down, and below is the same page you see at the top of this post, but in the new Italian edition:
Topipittori describes this book as “a hymn of love for books and reading, words, literature,” adding:
It’s a book about books. Not strictly in a technical way, and it’s not a serious and specialized book about [the] publishing world. It’s a book to explain books to everybody, from children to adults. During [recent] years, we found many books with the same theme, and there is a lot of material on [the] Internet (videos, animations, and so on). But this volume is so simple, and it plays with the typos in a smart way, that we considered it…a perfect explanation, both for the text and for the graphics and for the dialogue between all the elements….
This Italian edition was released over a month ago, and it will also be released in French, Korean, and Spanish (the latter two in 2013). “Unfortunately,” my Topipittori contact told me, “we didn’t find an English publisher yet, but we hope we will see it published in the future also in its original language.”
Here’s a bit more from each book, first the original English edition, followed by the Italian one. (Do any of my Impish readers remember this book from decades ago?)
All images here are reproduced with permission of Topipittori.
Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.
I have to say my big kick this week is that I didn’t have manuscript edits giving me the ‘ol skunk eye, since Betsy and I turned in the manuscript last Sunday, and so I enjoyed having a normal (or what passes for normal for me) week again. On Friday night, I actually read a novel in a very bubbly bubble bath. ‘Cause I could!
The other big kick is that yesterday I read a stack of my favorite new picture books to children at Parnassus Books’ Saturday story time. Since I’m currently not in a school library, I really super bad miss reading to groups of children, and so it was fun to read to these smart boys and girls who listened so well. When I read them Matt Cordell’s hello! hello!, a hush fell across the room. It was a thing of beauty. (Also, they laughed hard at the animal-stampede spreads.)
A quick announcement for interested folks:
I promised to help spread the word about this NYC event at the Society of Illustrators. If you’re having trouble reading the words in this image, no worries: Just visit this link.
Also, the slide show for the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2012 is now up! It’s here.
What are YOUR kicks this week?