Monday, March 26, 2007

Louis Slobodkin Online Archive!

Ugh. Ever have one of "those" Mondays? I just wrote a brilliant, sentimental, wise, and oh, practically magical post about Carol Reid's Louis Slobodkin online archive, and with one errant click, managed to lose the entire thing. I'm actually surprised this doesn't happen to me more often. Ok, take two. I'll attempt an abbreviated and inevitably less magical version. :)

The short of it is, a couple weeks ago, I wrote a post on one of my favorite books, James Thurber's Many Moons, and I received a comment from a woman in Albany, New York who has been working on an online archive of illustrator Louis Slobokin's work.

This archive is incredibly in-depth and fun to explore. I grew up reading books illustrated by Louis Slobodkin, and it was so fun to browse the site and read excerpts from books I had long forgotten about.

Too Many Mittens, for example, is a charming book about a family who loses a red mitten. They put the word out and one by one, practically everyone in town finds a red mitten they believe must be Donny's. It's a great book about community that I used to love as a child and completely forgot exsisted. You can read the entire beginning of the book and view all kinds of fun pictures from it on the Slobodkin archive.

I already spoke about Many Moons in a previous post, but this book is a terrific example of Louis Slobodkin's imaginative and whimsical artistry. You can read the entire beginning (practically the first half) of the book on the archive's Many Moons page.

Eleanor Estes' entire Moffat series was a particular obsession of mine as a child. I completely identified with Jane, the Middle Moffat. To this day, I still quote one of my favorite exchanges from those books:

"Are you the prima donna?"
"No, just the middle bear."
Carol Reid and her cohorts have built a valuable, fun, and entirely impressive archive. I hope you'll visit and enjoy reading the book excerpts. Hopefully, you'll come across some old favorites and maybe even find some new favorites. If you do, please post a comment, I'd love to hear about your discoveries!

Visit the archive here.

(The information about Louis Slobodkin's life on the Misc page is fascinating too. Who would have guessed one of his sculptures was destroyed at the 1939 World's Fair because of its controversial nature?)

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