Peter Spier Author Video

Random House publisher’s YouTube channel recently posted a video of famed book author and illustrator, Peter Spier: Peter Spier Author Video – YouTube.

I loved Peter Spier’s books growing up.  Following on yesterday’s discussion of allowing children to read books at all levels, I will confess that even after I was reading 300 page novels, I still spent hours pouring over Spier’s picture books, many of which have few or no words at all.  They taught me about the complexity of our world and the skill of a master storyteller, which continue to bring joy to my life.  They taught me to observe the details around me, a habit which helped me in many school subjects.

An interesting question arises at the 1:22 mark in the video.  Spier’s books are being released for ereaders and he says he was asked to color in the half of the illustrations which he had originally chosen to do in black and white.  This made me ask three questions … I don’t have the answers yet!  Maybe your family can think of some answers:

  1. Why were some illustrations in color and some in black and white, originally?
  2. Why did the publisher ask him to color the black and white ones for ereaders?
  3. What might the book gain or lose by having all illustrations in color now?

We have three Peter Spier books for our students to read: Tin Lizzie, Noah’s Ark (Caldecott winner for 1978), and People.  People was my personal favorite book for many years.

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