image: Sophie Blackall – Big Red Lollipop
As is now routine, I moseyed through the park and did my weekly grocery shopping at the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket on Saturday. This time, though, I wasn’t too loaded down with pickles and goat cheese, and actually had the energy to stop at the Central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
I’d been meaning to hit the BPL because, though I’ve always been a huge library supporter (it’s in my blood, thanks mom and dad), lately I’ve been in the bad habit of buying books instead. But with student loans looming this November (it’s been nearly 6 months already?!), it is time to tighten the finances and catch up on my reading – for free.
I was disappointed that I didn’t find anything super fresh and exciting in the YA section… but I guess it’s good that teens are checking them all out. Next time, I’ll have to bring a bigger list. I DID get the chance to see the Drawn In Brooklyn! exhibition of children’s illustration – and that, in itself, was worth the trip.
Drawn In Brooklyn! is a 4-month long festival of 34 local artists, celebrating the borough with the largest concentration of children’s book illustrators on the planet. In close proximity to Manhattan, illustrators can network with the publishing and art worlds first-hand… but then find both community inspiration and a bit of creative peace back here. No wonder Brooklyn is home to, well, almost everyone I admire.
In the vast display of work in the Grand Lobby of the BPL, there were many, many familiar names, including personal heroes (Leo and Diane Dillon, Ted and Betsy Lewin, Paul O. Zelinsky), current favorites (Sophie Blackall, Peter Brown) and former professors (Pat Cummings, Megan Montague Cash). Also, a few illustrators I’d never heard of before: both Daniel Salmieri and Sergio Ruzzier‘s whimsical, quirky characters made me smile. Here they are below!
Drawn In Brooklyn! has events going on for months – so don’t miss out on meeting any of the illustrators featured – from now until January.