Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nancy Knows - a book review

Quote of the day:   "A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. " 
                                                                     - Mark Twain

Title:  Nancy Knows
Author/ Illustrator:  Cybele Young
Ages:  3-7

Let's take a peek inside shall we?

My take on the book:

An elephant is supposed to have an excellent memory....right?   An elephant never forgets....is that not correct?  Well not so with our adorable little elephant character, Nancy.  She is in agony because she knows there is something very, very important that she must remember .... but can't for the life of her think of what it is.  In this very creative and fun book the author/illustrator designs very unique pictures of Nancy using a graphite pencil for the pachyderm's outline and then filling her in with exquisite mini paper sculptures.  Both adults and children will have their noses pressed to the pages to take in every last detail of what is presented there.   Nancy thinks and thinks and tries to remember how things looked one way, then another, with her ears, her stomach and also her heart but to no avail.  The memory has slipped away.  Remember the line in the Dr. Seuss book, "He puzzled and puzzled  'til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch (but in this book it is our sweet little Nancy) thought of something he hadn't before."  Finally all puzzled out she sits down, gives it up and that's when the magic happens!  She remembers what it is!  

It is a pleasant and pleasing feeling to encounter such an original and imaginative picture book that is totally unique to that author's style.  The text is simple but truly the illustrations are the driving force behind this whimsical and most enjoyable book.  I highly recommend this book to you.

About the author/illustrator:

Cybèle Young is an internationally renowned artist, represented by galleries in New York, London, Vancouver and Calgary. She studied sculpture and printmaking at the Ontario College of Art and Design in the early 1990s, and has since received over twenty arts grants and awards. She has been profiled in numerous publications including Art in America, the New York Times, Canadian Art, the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Fibrearts, Maclean’s, Elle and Toronto Life. Her work resides in major collections around the world including Canada Council ArtBank, Foreign Affairs, Ernst & Young, BMO, OMERS and Gryphon. She has mounted over twenty solo shows, and has been included in thirty group shows and countless annual international art fairs over the past sixteen years.
Cybèle creates sculptural works and film animation from fine Japanese papers and intaglio prints, which are juxtapositions of objects that evoke a sense of human dialogue. Her art practice and family life have inspired the creation of several children’s books. She released two books in 2011 – ‘A Few Blocks’ (Groundwood Books), and ‘Ten Birds’ which won the Governor General’s Award for Illustration 2011. Both were a Kirkus Best of 2011.
Cybèle was recently awarded a Canada Council artist residency to live and create new work in Paris, France for four months in summer 2011. She lives and works in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two children. Cybèle's Website

Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Don't forget to have an amazing day everyone.

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