Oh, to be ferried off to dreamland "on wing, or paw or fin", atop a friendly creature as a dream escort. Emily Winfield Martin's new picture book, Animal Dreams, is just that...dreamy. It's a perfect bedtime book as it creates a feeling of security and comfort paired with the endless possibilities for exploration and adventure that dreams bring. The illustrations are rich and sumptuous, yet delicate and ethereal. It's a lovely book, one that you'll want to hold onto for years to come.
You may be familiar with Emily Martin, aka The Black Apple. She conquered Etsy with her shop of prints, stationery, and other goods and is now bringing her vintage-inspired artwork and penchant for imaginative and lovably offbeat characters, landscapes and cosmos to the publishing world. Nestled in Portland, she kindly shared some thoughts on her work and inspirations:
1. I've been familiar with your art since the early days of Etsy and it seems it has always been ripe for developing into children's books. Has publishing a book been a dream of yours for a long time?
Many people don't know this (or didn't at first) but nearly the whole time I've been a person, I've been as much a word-person as a picture-person. In school, I took almost as many English classes as art classes and very often mixed the two, writing papers about visual details in modernist novels and making illustrated books for painting classes.
3. Dream Animals is a bedtime story. When you began working on it which came first: the words or the art?
My favorite picture book when I was small (and still probably my all-time favorite) is Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown. Garth William's illustrations are so cozy & the whole perfect little book is strange and gentle and warm as toast.
6. Which illustrators inspire you?
I tend to find most inspiration in other mediums & places, like the stories of Angela Carter, records by Tom Waits or Cocteau Twins, beautiful films, natural history museums, old toys...
7. Owls and foxes have been the most popular animals for children's motifs for quite a while now, which animal would you nominate to be the next "it" animal?
8. What is your own personal dream animal?
Title: Dream Animals
Author & Illustrator: Emily Winfield Martin
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Children
Age group: Toddler, preschool
Best for kids who: like to laugh
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin
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