Thursday, September 14, 2006

Forgotten Bookshelf: Gyo Fujikawa

Ah, how I pity the toddler who doesn't get to (literally) cut their teeth on a Gyo Fujikawa board book. Did you manage to live through the 1970s and miss her books? Don't be afraid to pay a visit to Fujikawa-land; her illustrations manage to be as lush and charming now as they were then.

Granted, the texts to Fujikawa's works were nothing fantastic. Most of her books run the gamut of toddler literature -- they have titles like
Let's Eat; My Favorite Thing; Can You Count? and the selection pictured here, Sleepy Time. Most of the text is simply there to label the actions and items shown in the illustrations, but there's a kind of clean simplicity to it that manages to make it endearing.

Now let's get down to what's really important here: the illustrations. They're kind of like a cross between Leonard Wisegard and Helen Oxenbury -- Fujikawa poplulates her books with rosy-cheeked multiethnic kids and gentle animals, and uses a palette of soft pastels and vibrant jewel-tones that is simply gorgeous -- you just want to look, look, look. And despite all of the chubby-chubby kids and roly-poly puppies you see in her pages, the images manage to avoid being too-cute and trite. They're just like a big comforter -- warm, embracing, and secure.

Most of Fujikawa's books can be found through online used-booksellers for less than $5 -- a perfect excuse to snap up a bunch for a baby shower or a lucky toddler's birthday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BWI carries a few of the titles as well as Amazon.