Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day by Day by Susan Gal

I'm a big fan of Susan Gal's previous titles, Please take me for a walk and Night Lights. I also loved her recent book, Into the Outdoors, although I didn't review it.

It pains me to say that I just didn't love this title. It still has Gal's signature scratchy-textured art, the simple but rhythmic text, and the glowing colors. But it just didn't speak to me the way her other titles did.

I think some of this may be the combination of pigs, pink and text. I felt that the text didn't reach the joyfulness of Please take me for a walk, for example. When the dog says "I want to feel the wind lift my ears and the sun warm my belly " you can just feel the yearning and exciting possibilities of outside. But when the pigs' text reads "Arm in arm, new friendships begin./Then row by row, pigs plant a garden." I just feel bored.

Gal's artistic style hasn't deteriorated and I loved the endpapers. They have the gorgeous swathes of color, tiny bright splashes, collage hints, and textures so rich you just want to rub the page that made me fall in love with Gal's art. I think I didn't go for this one because the scope is too large. Her other titles focus on a single character or small family unit, while this one just keeps adding more and more pigs. To my eyes, it ends up a confused mess of pink splotches.

You can see more of Gal's art to compare at her website here

Verdict: All that being said, I still purchased this title for the library. It certainly deserves the "heartwarming" adjective and would make a nice bedtime story for little ones. Not everyone has my objection to pink and many people like pigs with enhanced cuteness. While this isn't going to be a favorite book of mine, it's still a nice title for casual browsers and has circulated reasonably well in my library.

ISBN: 9780375869594; Published July 2012 by Alfred Knopf; Review copy provided by the publisher; Purchased for the library (review copy donated to 10KBK)

No comments: