Pamela Dalton: Giving Thanks


Hi everybody, today I’m posting my interview with illustrator and cut paper artist, Pamela Dalton. To illustrate her books Pamela uses endless exacto knives to create intricately beautiful Scherenschnitte, which she  stains with coffee and paints with watercolor. BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON is a special favorite in our house. In it Katherine Paterson has reimagined Saint Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures and Pamela has created a world of beauty to revel in. Their newest book, GIVING THANKS, is a collection of poems, prayers, and praise songs of thanksgiving. It glows gently with gratitude. Go ahead and read the interview with Pamela, and if you want a signed copy of your own please enter the contest in the comment section!***Book Giveaway Details Below***

1. Hi, Pamela! What do you think kids would love to know about you?

I would say, that the pictures of BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON are not a whole lot unlike where I live. I’m way out in the country. I live in an amazing community. We do a lot of things the old timey way. The bread oven and the section on fire, stands right across the road from my house. There is a big dairy barn with forty-some beautiful brown Swiss cows, also directly across from the house. Yeah… and we have our wood stoves, and we all have our gardens, and all walk in the woods, and it’s just like the picture book! fire.dalton

2. I have the new book, GIVING THANKS. It’s really different, from BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON. How do you decide what you want a book to look like?

That was really the vision of my editor, Christopher Franceschelli. He really wanted to do a book of prayers and graces, with the theme of gratitude. He envisioned using the color instead of the black, he envisioned the white on white, stuff that I would probably never do in a million years, but I’m thrilled with how it turned out. Especially the white on white! (It looks, to me, like a tablecloth.) Yeah, It just looks very elegant to me! red.dalton

3. Do you have a favorite piece in the book?

My favorite prayer is the Albert Schweitzer, and my favorite image is the little sitting mouse that goes with that, or in that section. I just have an infinite love for animals, and I really loved painting that little mouse! I just felt so good painting that little mouse and I think that particular prayer is so meaningful and so precious to me. I wanted to give it an exclamation!

Well, here it is: O heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that have breath: guard them from all evil, and let them sleep in peace.


4. When you were little did you make cut paper dolls and snowflakes or was that something you learned to do as an adult?

I made a lot of snowflakes!

I think you should make a book about snow! That would be beautiful.

Right now I’m working on a set of Christmas ornaments, they are scenes from my village, and they’ll be ready for NEXT Christmas! Then we’ll be on to the next book…

I can’t wait, Pamela. Thank you so much! (Pamela’s forthcoming book, UNDER THE SILVER MOON, will be a traditional collection of lullabies, night songs, and poems!)

*Newberry Medalist, Katherine Paterson, worked with Pamela on both BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON and GIVING THANKS. You can learn more about her books by clicking here! Pamela said that it was a complete delight and honor to work with her. **Matthew Carden photographed all of Pamela’s cut paper illustrations. They were sent to him loose, like a box full of doilies! Pamela said, his work lifted her illustrations, giving them more depth and shadow! ***BOOK GIVEAWAY CLOSED

❤ Robin

13 thoughts on “Pamela Dalton: Giving Thanks

  1. I’ll go first 🙂

    It was lovely to talk with Pamela on the phone. I’m so thankful she took the time to share her words with me, and even more thankful that she shares her beautiful art with all of us. She told me to savor every moment with my children. I was out camping at El Capitan State Beach when we spoke. Deer, and quail, and woodpeckers, and my kids were sneaking all around me, whispering in the background, and for them, I am most grateful.

  2. As a librarian who reads stories and poems to children every week, I have come to value fresh approaches to familiar and seasonal subjects. Pamela’s imaginative and striking paper-cut illustrations offer something both original and traditional…just the sort of thing I would like to show the children I see each Monday.
    Thanks for sharing this fun interview!

  3. As a principal in a small catholic elementary school this book looks like a message I would choose to share with my students. I am also very artistic and love the cut designs that go with the blessings. I would so love this book in my school library.

  4. Thank you for including us. We would love to share Giving Thanks as we celebrate our school Thanksgiving feast.

  5. What a beautifully written and illustrated book! Thank you for giving our school the opportunity to review it, and to read your interview with Pamela. This is sure to become a Holiday classic. We would be honored to read it to our students and give it a permit home in our school library. God Bless you and Happy Thanksgiving.
    Jackie – Sacred Heart Academy, Grand Rapids, MI

    1. Jackie, your school won the signed copy of GIVING THANKS! Congratulations 🙂 I’ll be sending it along next week & hope it reaches you before Thanksgiving!

  6. I love your little mouse and prayer! I will definitely be sharing this with my granddaughter. It is so sweet! I have never been fond of the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer because it seems kind of dark… LFL#5444

  7. These are so engaging! I can’t stop looking at the details! I love them both!
    I am thankful for much, but I will take the opportunity to say “Thank you Robin!” for sharing artists and authors who may have just pass under our noses without you spotlighting these talented people!~Aubrey Hierholzer, Lompoc,CA

    1. Cathy, I picked an extra winner for this interview–I was at the bookstore and couldn’t resist getting another copy of Brother Sun Sister Moon! If you don’t already have it I would love to send it along to your Little Free Library!

      1. Hi, Robin,
        Thanks for the offer of the Brother Sun Sister Moon book for my Little Free library. Yes, I would love it!

        Cathy Petrini
        10 West Alexandria Ave
        Alexandria, VA 22301-2015

        Thank you!


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