I believe I have mentioned here before that I am visual artist, and the book I chose for today is one that I love as an object. It has beautiful, comeplex, colorful, and creative illustrations and a whimsical design.
Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann and Janet Lee
This book is gorgeous from endpaper to endpaper. It features a foreword by Tim Gunn, whom I love, including an illustration of him as one of the dapper men. Delightful! The illustrations are a mixed-media mishmash of art nouveau and steampunk influences. There are two special sections at the end: one by the illustrator explaining how the visuals for this unique volume were created, and one featuring other artists’s renderings of the characters and themes in the story.
The story itself is thought-provoking, set in a world where there are no adults and time has stopped. Human children live underground while mechanical people occupy the surface, never mingling, because the children only want to
play while the machines only want to work. Except for one fair-minded little boy, and one mechanical girl without a memory. The two go on a journey to restore the natural order, aided by the return of the dapper men.
This is the kind of story a person reads over and over again, turning it over in their mind and getting soemthing new each time. The illustrations are equally complex, yielding new treasures with each viewing. It’s a lovely, smart book that is colorful in every sense of the word.