Adele & Simon
By Barbara McClintock
(Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374380441, 40pp.)
Publication Date: September 5, 2006
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When Simon's older sister, Adele, picks him up from school, he has his hat and gloves and scarf and sweater, his coat and knapsack and books and crayons, and a drawing of a cat he made that morning. Adele makes Simon promise to try not to lose anything. But as they make their way home, distractions cause Simon to leave something behind at every stop. What will they tell their mother?
Detailed pen-and-ink drawings - filled with soft watercolors - make a game of this unforgettable tour through the streets and scenes of early-twentieth-century Paris. Illustrated endpapers extend the fun by replicating a 1907 Baedeker map of Paris.
"Adele & Simon" is a 2006 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
My parents owned a portrait photography studio -- my dad took pictures with his large wooden bellows camera, and my mother colored the black-and-white photos with oil paints, brushes, and Q-tips.
Music was a very important part of family life. On Sundays we listened to everything from Wagner's Ring Cycle to Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey to "The Monster Mash." My dad sang along with everything. My mother sewed most of our clothes; she also drew for us, and read to us, and admonished us to get away from the TV and go outside to invent our own world of play.
My earliest memory is of lying on my stomach, a crayon in each hand, drawing large circles. I always loved telling stories with my pictures, or making pictures to accompany the stories I invented. I made my first comic strip when I was four on a scrap of wallpaper. It was a cat sliding down a banister and landing on a hat. My mother wrote the words in the word balloons for me. I loved picture books and comics and animated cartoons. I spent so many hours drawing and writing and making comic books that by the time I was in the second grade I had a prominent callus on my index finger from holding pencils and crayons. I was a daydreamer -- much of my school day involved staring out the window of the classroom. Nothing was as interesting as the characters and dramas and images in my mind. When I was seven, I knew I would be an artist when I grew up -- but what kind of artist? I asked my sister and she replied, "Be a children's book illustrator, of course!" My destiny was set.
Barbara McClintock attended Jamestown College in North Dakota until, at nineteen, she moved to New York City to begin her career as an illustrator and author. She now lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with her son and her fiance.