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!
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!
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