I’ve been pretty quiet on this blog about the amazing Blogging for a Cure effort (though I did write about it over at Librarian Mom a couple of weeks ago), so it’s a treat to have the chance to not only feature a snowflake illustrator in support of the Robert’s Snow: For Cancer’s Cure online auction, but to do so on the very last day before the first snowflake auction opens.
Giles Laroche has been drawing, according to this site,“as long as he can remember.” He illustrates using a technique he calls “paper relief,” a combination of drawing, painting, and paper cut that produces a three-dimensional effect.
I knew of Laroche through his illustrations for Sacred Places, by Philemon Sturges, but discovered through research for this post that his illustration credits include an impressive variety of other titles. On my desk right now are What Do Wheels Do All Day? written by April Jones Princes, and Bridges are to Cross and Down to the Sea in Ships, both written by Laroche’s frequent collaborator Philemon Sturges.
In each of these books Laroche takes on a specific and visually striking topic—respectively, wheels, bridges, and boats—and brings it alive in a way that’s meticulously detailed enough to satisfy the most mechanically-minded kid (I’m especially fond of the gears and pulleys in “What Do Wheels Do All Day?” and the individually cut and placed pieces spanning the Apurimac River Bridge in “Bridges Are To Cross”) and bright and accessible enough for even easily-distracted toddlers. Each page is a world in itself, and rewards multiple viewings.
Like his book illustration, Laroche’s snowflake, entitled “Compass and Cormorant,” is both stunning and simple. I love the juxtaposition of the medieval-esque angelic herald with that alert seabird on the other side, ready to take flight. Here; it's worth a closer look:
The Robert’s Snow: For Cancer’s Cure auction is ready to take flight too, as of tomorrow. Please take a look at all the snowflakes, and consider bidding on one (or more!). It’s a rare chance to support a truly worthy cause and to own an affordable piece of art by a children’s illustrator.