Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Robert Lawson, Illustrator: A Selection of His Characteristic Illustrations is a sampler of Lawson’s illustrations, chosen from the thousands of drawings created by the artist in his lifetime. Helen L. Jones has assembled a pictorial biography of the first illustrator and author to win both the Newbery and Caldecott awards. The Caldecott medal honored his illustrations for They Were Strong and Good (1940), and the Newbery medal recognized his writing in the classic Rabbit Hill (1944). He received an additional three Newbery and two Caldecott Honor awards for his distinguished writing and illustrating.

This biography does not follow the usual text-dominant form because Jones has chosen to portray the major accomplishments of this illustrator’s life in 108 pages of illustrations and commentary. A truly unobtrusive biographer, Jones uses Lawson’s own words, drawn from his letters and writing, to describe his personal values, artistic techniques, and styles of illustration. The black-and-white illustrations are grouped into five major sections, each of which represents a significant theme of his body of work: creatures of fantasy, animals, history according to animals, history according to humans, and people. The illustrations are reproduced in the exact size of their original printing, with the exception of two etchings used for section title pages.

In the text that prefaces each section, Jones briefly describes...

(The entire section is 464 words.)