“Dear young artist,” this book begins. Twenty-three illustrators complete the salutation with self-portraits and letters about their life, work and art. The process of picture book art and children’s literature illustration is discussed in each artist’s own way, and sometimes we get a glimpse into their studios. Advice from Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, Jerry Pinkney and Chris Van Allsburg give the tone of a mentorship in the form of a book.
Consider Barry Moser’s words: “So, my young friend, never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. You can. All it takes–and this is a lot–is the desire to do it, the persistence to learn how to do it well, the courage to stand strong when people around you are discouraging your dreams. And perhaps most important of all is being willing to fail while you are trying your hardest–but then to pick it up and start over again.”