Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Beautiful Book #38

The Visions in Poetry Series published by KidsCan Press. 2004-2008.

Jabberwoky by Lewis Carrol. Illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch. 2004
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. Illustrated by Murray Kimber. 2005
The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Illustrated by Geneviève Côté. 2005
Casey at the Bat by Ernest Thayer. Illustrated by Joe Morse. 2006.
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. Illustrated by Ryan Price. 2006.
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. Illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch. 2007.
My Letter to the World and other Poems by Emily Dickinson. Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. 2008.

KidsCan Press took  bold, artistic step in 2005 when it began publishing classics from the children's/young adult poetry canon re-envisioned by daring Canadian illustrators and published in small, beautifully designed and bound keepsake books. Given the relatively small market for poetry in general, let alone children's/YA poetry, and given the ubiquity of these texts in other editions, the press's creative and financial risk was not insignificant. I do think they pitched the project perfectly, though; The Visions in Poetry books are equally at home in a collector's hands as on the shelves of a high school library. The first title released, Jorisch's dystopian urban war-scape vision of Jabberwocky, won the Governor General's Literary award for illustration in 2004, as did his subtle class/species segregation version of The Owl and the Pussycat in 2008. Don't stop with the two award-winning titles, though. The entire series is worth poring over time and again as you will see from the glimpses below. I've included the cover and an image from each.

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