I’ve decided to start a search for the dandiest children’s book illustrators. This first one was easy, Jeanette Canyon does some amazing work with polymer clay to illustrate educational children’s books. The first book I read of her’s was written by Marianne Berkes and it was called Over in the Ocean, In a Coral Reef. It should be read to the tune of the children’s rhyme, Over in the Meadow.
I’m not sure what draws me to Jeanette Canyon’s work more; the bursting colour mixed with intense texture or the whimsical characters that are realistic yet magical and the same time. Maybe it’s just the sparkles that sometimes find their way mixed into the polymer clay. These are relief sculptures but they can look so much more deep and 3D than that, and this can’t be an easy task after being photographed and then printed. Canyon’s actual art pieces are very large so that she can use different tools to add small details and texture to both the backgrounds and main subjects. The detail put into these clay illustrations is stunning. Just check out the cover and know that every page just get more amazing from there.
I haven’t read these books, but here are two more covers of children’s books that Canyon has illustrated, and you can bet I will be going out to get these soon.