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Leo Lionni Author/Illustrator Study By Jamie Royall and Keshia Edwards “From time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly.

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Presentation on theme: "Leo Lionni Author/Illustrator Study By Jamie Royall and Keshia Edwards “From time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leo Lionni Author/Illustrator Study By Jamie Royall and Keshia Edwards “From time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly something that, vague though it may be, seems to carry the promise of a form, a meaning, and, more important, an irresistible poetic charge.”—Leo Lionni

2 Biography Born May 5, 19 in Amsterdam, Holland Had a passion for nature as a young child and collected little creatures from outdoors and kept them in jars in his bedroom Lionni’s uncle Peit gave him his first lessons in drawing and gave him his first drawing table Knew at an early age that he wanted to become an artist Spent much of his childhood at the art museums of Amsterdam teaching himself to draw Earned his Ph. D in economics from the University of Genoa in 1935 Worked as a freelance designer, painter, writer Moved to the United States in 1939 where he was an art director for an advertising agency Was recognized as a “dynamic talent in commercial design,” by Lesley Potts. Reviewers of his work described him as a phenomenon, genuinely versatile, and one of the world’s most original designers

3 Biography Exhibited his paintings and sculptures at shows, museums, and universities in the United States His career as an author/illustrator began in the late 1950’s Leo Lionni wrote his first children’s book Little Blue and Little Yellow in 1959 while on a train ride with his grandchildren. Returned to Italy in 1961 where he focused on his brass and iron sculptures and writing children’s books Lionni wrote more than 40 children’s books He received the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was a four-time Caldecott Honor Winner His final work was Between Worlds: The Autobiography of Leo Lionni Died of complications of Parkinson’s disease on October 12, 1999 His innovative use of collage, white space, and clean, modern design was a major influence on Eric Carle, Ezra Jack Keats, and other children’s book artists In 2007 the Society of Illustrators awarded him a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award.

4 Lionni as an Author Lionni’s first children’s book developed out of torn paper from a magazine. Little Blue and Little Yellow was an entertaining story to pass the time for Leo’s grandchildren. Lesley S. Potts says that Lionni’s books have developed in ways that reflect his own childhood and its influences, as well as his life as a designer, artist, and thinker. Lionni states in his essay My Books for Children, “Among the varied things I’ve done in my life few have given me more and greater satisfactions than my children’s books. His work develops from little human problems which he uses animals to tell the story The protagonist, do to special circumstances, is usually an outcast, rebel, victim, or hero Often his characters learn through suffering but always come out on top

5 Lionni as an Author Often Lionni was asked who his intended audience was. His response was this: “I believe in fact, that a good children’s book should appeal to all people who have not completely lost their original joy and wonder in life.” He also followed that with: “The fact is I really don’t make children’s books for children at all. I make them for that part of us, of myself and my friends, which has never changed.”

6 Lionni as an Illustrator Leo Lionni taught himself to draw by sitting in the hallways of museums and copying the images he saw Leo didn’t need to consult nature books to copy the shapes, colors, and textures of insects and reptiles, rodents and birds, pebbles and seashells. He simply copied them from the images that were stored away in his memory. Lionni used cut-outs, finger paints, construction paper scraps to help him create vivid illustrations for his books He took great pride in his draftsmanship and used this talent to help enhance many of his pictures. In a video of Lionni he stated that he tears the paper to create a furry effect The use of collage creates texture that makes the reader want to touch the pictures

7 Some of Lionni’s Illustrations

8 Leo Lionni’s Work Anthologies: 20th Century Children's Book Treasury, the (1998) Picture Books: Little Blue and Little Yellow (1959) Inch by Inch (1960) On My Beach There Are Many Pebbles (1961) Swimmy (1963) Alphabet Tree, the (1968) Biggest House in the World, the (1968) Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse (1969) Fish is Fish (1970) Theodore and the Talking Mushroom (1971) Frederick (1973) Greentail Mouse, the (1973) Color of His Own, a (1975) In the Rabbitgarden (1975) Picture Books: Pezzettino (1975) Tico and the Golden Wings (1975) I Want to Stay Here! : I Want to Go There! : A Flea Story (1977) Geraldine, the Music Mouse (1979) Let's Make Rabbits : A Fable (1982) Cornelius (1983) It's Mine! (1986) Nicolas, Where Have You Been? (1987) Six Crows: A Fable (1988) Tillie and the Wall (1989) Matthew's Dream (1991) Mr. McMouse (1992) Busy Year, a (1992) Let's Play (1993) Extraordinary Egg, an (1994) Between the Worlds: The Autobiography of Leo Lionni (1997)

9 Lesson Ideas for Lionni’s Work

10 Lionni in the Classroom The underlying theme of our author/illustrator study is learning valuable lessons about life through working together to find solutions to everyday problems. We will work our way through five of Lionni’s children’s books. Starting out with Swimmy we will see teamwork at it’s finest. We will take our time discovering the qualities of friendship, teamwork, and bravery. We will follow up with videos of Lionni’s work and how he creates his illustrations. We will read four more of Leo Lionni’s works; Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, Frederick, A Color of His Own, and Inch by Inch. In each of these books the characters face problems that they must think critically to solve. Some work together to come up with a solution while others use their own wit. We will complete our study by choosing our favorite Leo Lionni book and do a puppet play of that book.

11 Swimmy Summary: A little black orphan fish named Swimmy finds himself all alone after his family is eaten by a large tuna. As the sole survivor swimmy makes new friends and helps them create a plan to swim together as a team and form the illusion of a much larger fish. Swimmy will be the eye of the fish because of his black color. Through teamwork they outsmart the enormous fish and swim to safety. Classroom Connection: After reading Swimmy and discussing everyday life problems we will brainstorm ideas for possible solutions. Then we will divide into groups of 4-5 and make a large fish out of poster board. On the back of the fish the groups will come up with a problem that they may face. After each group has developed a problem they will exchange their fish with another group who will come up with a solution. Each group will share their idea by acting out the problem and solution. Grade 1 Objective 1.02 Identify problem-solving strategies and demonstrate the ability to make choices using those strategies Grade 2 Objective 1.01 Summarize and demonstrate expected standards for behavior such as honesty, trustworthiness, and respect for others.

12 Check out this video!

13 Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse Summary: Alexander, a real mouse, becomes friends with a toy mechanical mouse named Willy. Alexander becomes jealous of Willy because the children always choose him over other toys. Alexander longs to receive the attention that his friend Willy receives from the children so he wishes to become a mechanical mouse like Willy. When Willy’s mechanics are broken and they are going to throw him away Alexander then wishes for Willy to be a real mouse like him. Classroom Connections: After reading the book we will discuss the characteristics of a true friend. As a class we will do a shared writing of a recipe that will include the ingredients of a true friend. We will invite the students to write their own story of friendship in their writer’s notebooks. Grade 1&2-Goal 4The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.

14 Science Extension 1. Activate students prior knowledge and review what it means to be living (need food and water, grow, reproduce,and make own energy), and what it means to be non-living. 2. Ask student’s to name a few examples and come to a conclusion whether the objects are living or non-living. 3. Explain to the students that they will be going on a nature walk. Here is where they will compile a list of all the objects ( people, insects, trees) that they come across outside. 4. Once outside, groups will work cooperatively to list all of the objects in two columns: living or non-living. packet.pdf Grade 1- Goal 1: The learner will conduct investigations and make observations to build an understanding of the needs of living organisms.

15 Frederick Summary: A family of field mice work together to gather food for winter. Frederick soaks up the sunshine while the other mice work. Winter comes and they go through all the food they stored up. Frederick saves the day by entertaining them with rhymes of summer days to help them pass the time of the long winter days. Classroom Connections: We plan to use the module from to facilitate a philosophical discussion with our students about the importance of community, the value of work, and the nature of poetry. After the discussion the students will collaborate to give a list of ways different people contribute to our school community. Grade 1 Objective 2.02 Identify the roles of leaders in the home, school, and community such as parents, mayor, police officers, principal, and teacher. Grade 2 Objective 3.04 Identify multiple roles performed by individuals in their families and communities

16 A Color of His Own Summary: A melancholy chameleon has a problem. He wants to have a color of his own like the other animals. He changes colors wherever he goes blending in with his surroundings. One spring day he finds a solution by meeting a friend that shares his uniqueness. Classroom Connection: After reading this book we will discuss what makes us who we are. We will talk about our similarities and differences and how these things make us unique. We will model for our students how to write an I Am poem. Then we will invite our students to write their own individual I Am poems. Grades 1&2 Goal 4-The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.

17 Inch by Inch Summary: A clever little caterpillar measures the body parts of birds to avoid being eaten. Then a nightingale ask the caterpillar to measure his song. The resourceful caterpillar devises a plan to escape the hungry nightingale. Classroom Connections: We will divide the students into collaborative groups. The groups will come up with a plan to measure various items using the correct tool. For example you wouldn’t use a jump rope to measure your pencil; a paper clip would be more appropriate. The group must agree on the tool of choice before measuring the object. Grade 1 Goal 2-The learner will use non-standard units of measure and tell time. Grade 2 Objective Estimate and measure using appropriate units

18 Awards and Honors National Society of Art Director’s Award 1955 Architectural League Gold Medal 1956 New York Times Best Illustrated Award 1959 for Little Blue and Little Yellow Caldecott Honor Book 1960, Lewis Carroll Shelf Award 1962, Children’s Book Prize (Germany) 1963 all for Inch by Inch New York Times Best Illustrated Award 1963, Caldecott Honor Book and American Library Association (ALA) Notable Book Citation, both 1964, German Government Illustrated Book Award 1965, and Bratislava Biennale Golden Apple, 1967, all for Swimmy Spring Book Festival Picture Book Honor, 1968, for The Biggest House in the World New York Times Best Illustrated Award, 1967, Caldecott Honor Book and ALA Notable Book Citation, both 1968, all for Frederick ALA Notable Book Citation, 1970, for Fish is Fish Caldecott Honor Book, ALA Notable Book Citation, and Christopher Book Award, all 1970, all for Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

19 Awards and Honors Contd. Five major awards at Teheran Film Festival in 1970 for two animated films Elected to Art Directors Hall of Fame, 1974 George G. Stone Center for Children’s Books Award for body of work, 1976 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal, 1984 Jane Adams Children’s Book Award, 1988 for Nicholas Where Have You Been? The Society of Illustrators awarded him a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007

20 Classroom Links erpacket.pdf erpacket.pdf G/index.htm G/index.htm

21 References Something about the Author. Ed. Anne Commire. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale Research, p Something about the Author. Ed. Diane Telgen. Vol. 72. Detroit: Gale Research, p Something about the Author. Ed. Alan Hedblad. Vol Detroit: Gale Group, p122. Lionni, Leo (1975) A Color of His Own. New York: Knopf Borzoi Books Lionni, Leo (1969) Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. New York: Pantheon Lionni, Leo (1967) Frederick. New York: Alferd A. Knopf Lionni, Leo (1960) Inch by Inch. USA: Harper Collins Publishers Lionni, Leo (1963) Swimmy. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. essay.htm essay.htm


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