cover image The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life

Lois Ehlert. S&S/Beach Lane, $17.99 (72p) ISBN 978-1-4424-3571-1

Ehlert employs her signature collage technique and images from her past work to explore her lifelong relationship with creating art in this open and encouraging picture-book memoir. The journey begins with Ehlert’s early creative inklings (“I thought maybe someday I could make a book”), accompanied by family photos, images of the tools she uses today—including pinking shears, paintbrushes, a cheese grater—and a glimpse of her vibrant studio space. She shares thoughts on her varied sources of inspiration (“When a squirrel slipped into my house, a book idea walked right up to me!” she writes about Nuts to You!) and illustrates how those ideas are translated to the page via dummy sketches and finished collages, with hand-lettered captions providing context and detail. In case readers get the itch to join in, Ehlert also offers instructions for such crafty projects as a bird feeder and a cat mask. It’s an inviting inside look at Ehlert’s extensive backlist and how the books were made, with nearly every page making it clear to readers that this kind of creation is well within their reach. Ages 5–10. (Mar.)