N is for Newspaper
Last night, before I went to bed, I found myself looking through all my cards, considering ways to shuffle my A-to-Z plans in order to avoid using this one.
I’m really not happy with it.
This was an early card and has so many problems. Would you like me to point all the mistakes?
First, there’s no background. The characters are just kind of plopped into nothingness, a pale haze of watercolor that’s barely noticeable.
Then, the man reading the newspaper is holding a leash that leads nowhere. Where’s his dog? Why didn’t I include it?
Third, the old man’s right ear — I can’t believe that I never finished cutting around it.
When I’m aware of the mistakes, they become the only thing I see. It’s awful. I need to take a step back.
The story I had in mind for this was one of obliviousness — both the man reading the newspaper and the grumpy man clutching his newspaper are oblivious of the rabbit that’s right in front of them.
And, golly, isn’t that true?
I see the mistakes in the picture — but the “rabbit” that’s in front of me, the one I’m not seeing immediately, is that on this journey of collage, I’ve actually travelled quite a way. It was a bit of a jolt to realize that.
The card is laid flat to show that I finally got smart enough to write the books I use right on the back of the card.
Interestingly, the story in this collage was also supposed to be about obliviousness. The boy is so taken with the tiny chicken perched on the piano that he doesn’t notice the baby polar bear sleeping beneath it.
The picture still has problems — but the problems are different. Overall, it seems more complete than “Newspaper.”
Sometimes it’s good to look back and see how far you’ve come.
It’s like a rabbit in the path. Good to notice.
Man reading the newspaper from Wheels on the Bus (a Raffi Song to Read book) illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz Wickstrom
Grumpy man from The Old Man and the Afternoon Cat by Michaela Muntean, illustrated by Bari Weissman
Rabbit from ??