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Is that Book Signed? Illustrators' Drawings as Inscription

by Linda Salem on 2017-08-02T14:04:00-07:00 | Comments

For background nformation about illustrator Taro Yashima see http://www.librarypoint.org/taro_yashima

Sometimes I find an illustrator has "signed" a book by drawing a custom illustration inside it for the owner. Many examples of this appear in books found in the San Diego Public Library's Historical Children's Collection, now a special collection at SDSU Library.The first example I share is Crow Boy  by Japanese author/illustrator Taro Yashima. Where the drawings appear on the verso or reverse side of the page the author draws a crow in flight and below he writes the inscription, 

 "To: Boys and Girls of San Diego Public Library." On the recto or front side of the page and in the tradition of form (character)-based writing, Yashima draws and hand colors Crow Boy over the words "Crow Boy." Here the inscription continues, "with Best wishes- April 16th, 1968. Author, Taro Yashima." He then draws an image of his own seal or the image he uses as a signature. Please note how the vibrance  of the yellow, orange, pink, and blue contrasts with the black ink in this image to create a glowing quality. Such color vibrance in a 1968 drawing suggests this book has been well conserved with very little exposure to light.  Stay tuned for more on this artist and on other examples of illustrators' drawing-enhanced signatures. Happy reading. 


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