Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Endeavor... Forever... A Tribute to Holly Meade

In December 2011, I wrote about a book by Holly Meade called If I Never Forever Endeavor.  It quickly became one of my favorite books.  I use it with adults, with children, and when I'm feeling "swamped," I read it for myself.

When I received the Tweet from Candlewick Press today that Ms. Meade has died, my heart sank.  Her obituary said, "She loved coastal Maine where she drew much of her inspiration from the natural world." 

All you have to do is explore her illustrations and you'll see evidence of her love for beauty, her love of art.  Her obituary said about Ms. Meade, "A deeply creative soul, Holly surrounded herself with art and was forever seeking an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual education through the aesthetic world."

She began illustrating children's books in 1992.  Twenty one years to share her gifts with those of us who love picture books.  Over 30 books.  Hundreds of works of art.

It's important that we, as teachers, stand together firm and recognize the importance of picture books.  We need to shout to world to ensure that the illustration of story, nonfiction, and poetry remain a living, breathing aspect of our reader's and writer's workshops (at all grade levels).  We must value beauty and creativity at the core of our work with children.

And, it's important that we point out to young readers and writers that people like Holly Meade (and so many others) take their craft seriously.  Illustrators understand the connection between words and art.  Illustrators understand that intellect can be stretched through aesthetic journeys.  Illustrators understand that each brush stroke, each line, each shadow, each color add depth to a reader's understanding.  Illustrators understand that before we write, we draw--drawing has to be an integral part of a writer's life.  Illustrators understand art.

If you don't know Holly's work, do an investigation.  Look at her gallery.  Look at her body of work (start with Candlewick Press).  Read a book or two to your students, to your children, to yourself.  And remember Holly's family in your thoughts and prayers.  

Here are a few of my favorites:

A illustrator's work is worth a thousand words.
Sometimes we have to say goodbye far too early, but we're always better for having experienced a bit of life via the talents of another person.

Thank you to Holly Meade for sharing your gifts with the world.  
Thanks for your endeavors!

• • • • • • • 

After I wrote this post, I discovered that Candlewick Press has set up a memorial fund for Holly Meade.  You can click here to see it at The Curious City.

No comments:

Post a Comment