Children's Bookshelf: The Moon Seems to Change

The Moon Seems to Change, a "Let's Read and Find Out" Book published by the Thomas y. Crowell Company in 1960, is a keystone of my imagination. My parents had it in our house when I was little, and as a teenager I cut pages from it to create collage art for my band's first cassette tape (the collector in me is flabbergasted, but would where would I be without that tape?). Not to be confused with later, paperback editions with new artwork (interestingly, the later edition of this title was illustrated by Ed Emberley), the Let's Read and Find Out books were sturdy hardbacks for kids, featuring educational topics illustrated beautifully by different illustrators working at the time. 

Helen Borten illustrated this title, along with at least three others (What Makes Day and Night, The Sun: Our Nearest Star, and Rain and Hail), using what seems to be a mixture of woodcuts, collage, and maybe some other printing techniques. She wrote and illustrated her own award-winning book Do You See What I See? and three others following that, along with between 20-30 books illustrated for other authors. Helen handled not just the illustration for this title, but the colors, type and layout of the entire book, which all retain an iconic graphic power definitive of their time and even more stunning today. Helen is still out there-- I know this from reading a great interview with her at Fishink-- so if you're reading Helen, thank you for literally a young lifetime of inspiration.


1 comment:

fishinkblog said...

Thanks for the Fishink Mention. As you can guess I also love Helen's work and have been lucky enough to tell her in person. Keep up the great work on your blog.