One Picture Book Text: Two Interpretations
When Richard Jesse Watson mentioned FERDINAND THE BULL as the picture book text he’d most like to illustrate I hurried to my bookshelves. I have loved FERDINAND since childhood, and some 40 years ago found a German edition illustrated by Werner Klemke.
While we’ve grown used to folktales being illustrated or interpreted by a wide range of artists, it is unusual for a modern text to be re-illustrated. Our initial reaction often resembles our response to the remake of a beloved film. “What have they done?” But exploring such examples can be valuable to those of us who write but not illustrate. It helps us understand how two different artists can experience and envision our words and story.
Though this German edition is out of print, we can see all the illustrations thanks to the Internet. Go to YouTube: Ferdinand der Stier.wmv – YouTube.
Picture Books Discussed
Leaf, Munro. FERDINAND THE BULL. Illus. by Robert Lawson. Viking, 1938.
Leaf, Munro FERDINAND DER STIER. Illus. by Werner Klemke. Transl. by Fritz Guttinger. Parabel Verlag, Date Unknown.