#12Artists: Edwin Fotheringham finds trouble
By Morgan on May 18th, 2011
It’s another #12Artists post! As you’ll recall, we asked 12 amazing children’s illustrators to create their own interpretation of Scholastic’s global literacy campaign. They complied in a big way — and to thank them and our community of readers, we’re auctioning off the originals to benefit the literacy non-profits Reading Is Fundamental and Reach Out and Read. They’re doing incredibly important work in schools across the nation, and you can help by bidding on the artwork.
When it comes to children’s lit lovers, I’ve found there are two camps: the Young Adult/Middle Grade crowd, and the picture book crowd. I’ve always been firmly planted in the former. Until that inevitable day when something — or rather, someone — opened my eyes to the incredible world of picture books I was missing. That person was Edwin Fotheringham.
It started with What To Do About Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!, written by Barbara Kerley. “A flawlessly-illustrated book about Alice Roosevelt?” I wondered in awe. And then I needed more.
And Edwin delivered. I fell in love with what I saw in The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy), and then became captivated by the images in (and story behind) Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way to Fame, Fortune, and Swimsuit History! by Shana Corey. If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re on to something: Edwin is on a roll of illustrating picture books based on true stories of remarkable women in history.
Then I discovered Tony Baloney, written by another of my favorites, Pam Munoz Ryan. It’s from this picture book that Edwin gleaned his inspiration for his original interpretation of Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life, seen here. And it’s from this picture book that I decided I could be both a YA/MG evangelist and a picture book enthusiast.
Edwin’s interpretation puts Tony, the trouble-loving penguin, front and center as he escapes into a book, leaving a wake of gadgets and toys behind him. Because isn’t that what books often do, after all — let us escape into another place?
When Edwin visited Scholastic during the kickoff of our art auction, he seemed to find a kindred spirit in Stephen Savage. (They even showed up in the same outfit!) He also shared some details about his artistic influences and his need to have a separate workspace where he can focus on his art. If you like what you see, head on over to Charity Buzz to make a bid on Edwin’s original creation. Proceeds from this auction will go to two amazing literacy non-profits, Reading is Fundamental and Reach Out and Read.
GIVEAWAY: You know the drill, readers. We’re giving away one signed poster of each of our #12Artists! Today, of course, is your chance to win a copy of Edwin’s poster. To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling us why you love picture books. Giveaway ends at 12:00 PM EST 5/25/2011. You must be a legal U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter. No purchase necessary. The complete legal rules are here.
UPDATE: Congrats to Michelle, whose name was randomly chosen as the signed poster winner! Thanks to everyone for commenting and entering!
- Sarah Jessica Parker and Zac Posen will help celebrate the 90th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!