Friday, January 13, 2017


The slow but constant evolution of how story has been conveyed has brought us to books and private libraries. 

I explain at my school visits that a long time ago, books (and the ability to read) were only enjoyed by a select few. Fortunately, most kids today cannot comprehend this, which shows how far we've actually come. 

I really enjoyed drawing the details of this 19th Century private library, as well as the wealthy magnate reading to his child.

Here is the rough sketch.

And here's the tight line drawing.

It's at this point, the somewhat chronological flow of the events takes a detour. 

Yes, we've arrived at mass-produced books and the "modern era," but I wanted to stop marching ahead and slow down to examine the different aspects of how stories effect all of us.

And here's final art. Notice where the bird is. I suppose I'm suggesting that stories were cloistered by the wealthy and a few select others to enjoy and be enlightened by. It was in a sense  held captive until...

Public libraries! Hooray!

You'll notice that the patrons waiting in line are holding books. I thought I shouldn't waste an opportunity to slip in a few classics here. 

Goodnight Moon, To Kill a Mockingbird, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, all major examples of classic children's literature.

Now stories were available to everyone.

But where's the bird?

Look close! You'll find it.

See it?

Now stories can be enjoyed by everyone.

I wanted this image to contrast the private library spread by using bright colors and smiling faces.

Like I said, at this juncture in the book I wanted to explore different aspects of how stories were delivered. I've certainly seen many "Little Libraries" and wanted to include them in the book, but then I delved deeper and discovered so many other unconventional delivery systems.

I had no idea there were so many fun and interesting ways stories were brought to readers all over the world.

I also felt compelled to address some of the negative aspects of story. Although a difficult subject, I didn't feel that an examination of story would be complete without touching on censorship, book banning, and book burning.

At a school visit, a student was thoroughly confused by the concept of book burning. "Why would somebody do that? It's stupid."


Next: From the 20th to the 21st Century.

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