cover image SIDE BY SIDE: Five Favorite Picture-Book Teams Go to Work

SIDE BY SIDE: Five Favorite Picture-Book Teams Go to Work

Leonard S. Marcus, . . Walker, $19.95 (64pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-8778-1

Marcus (A Caldecott Celebration; Author Talk) describes the creative collaborations of five author-artist teams whose processes prove as varied as their books. Though, for most projects, author and illustrator never meet, Marcus focuses on collaborators who "prefer—or need—to be in the thick of a freewheeling give-and-take with their partners." For each collaboration, he zooms in on one book in particular, and the pairs range from Arthur Yorinks and Richard Egielski, who struggled early on to get the attention of a publisher and broke through with their second book, Louis the Fish, to the fluid work style of husband-and-wife team Alice and Martin Provensen (using the Caldecott Medal–winning The Glorious Flight as the central example) who for 40 years shared both the writing and illustrating; in Alice Provensen's words, "Martin and I really were one artist." Although Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney had worked together for years, a more complicated, intensive discussion was required for Sam and the Tigers, a retelling of the racially stereotyped Little Black Sambo. Early thumbnail sketches, snapshots of dummies and finished artwork help capture the evolving process. Readers snared by their interest in the teams behind favorites such as the Magic School Bus series and The Stinky Cheese Man will appreciate the insights into the inner workings of bookmaking, and may well end up appreciating the books more for the energy and ingenuity it takes to create them. Ages 8-up. (Nov.)