Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tex by Dorie McCullough Lawson

Picture books rely on the reader's immediate and definitive engagement. The balance between text and illustration must be balanced and continuous, inviting and particularly directional. Color-filled illustrations that take the reader to their own dreamed mind-space. When a picture book works, I feel my own small worlds of focus, life experience, memories, and professional knowing come into alignment, this inner converging and calming.

Alright, so that might be a pretty gigantic task for one solitary picture book. But stick with me here: I used to dream of being a cowboy. I always struggled with the title because I could see me with the whole western get-up but not the leather-fringed skirt. Now you see why cowboy and not cowgirl. But I digress. I dreamed of horses and land, barns and poop, hay and chores...the whole nine yards. I read Little Britches by Ralph Moody so many times I know some of the words by heart still. And Tex took me right into that big, unlived dream from my childhood. Size matters, and the photos of the boy out in the fields, riding horses, working the ranch...all took me right back there. My dream may not come true but his just might.

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