In addition to being nominated for an Ignatz Award, Skim, a graphic novel written by Mariko Tamaki and her cousin, Parsons Illustration Part-time Faculty member, Jillian Tamaki was named last week as one of the Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2008. See Skim and the other books recognized in this slideshow. The book was also reviewed in the Times. Here’s a snippet:
The black and white pictures by Jillian Tamaki, Mariko’s cousin, create a nuanced, three-dimensional portrait of Skim, conveying a great deal of information often without the help of the text. The book’s most striking use of purely visual communication occurs in a lush and lovely double-page tableau of Skim and Ms. Archer exchanging a kiss in the woods that leaves the reader (and maybe even the participants) wondering who kissed whom. In another sequence, Skim and Ms. Archer sip tea without ever making eye contact, the pictures and minimal text communicating the uncomfortable emotional charge in the room and the two characters’ difficulty in knowing what to say to each other.
Tamaki’s palette often becomes noticeably darker or lighter to signal a change in mood. Various night scenes communicate Skim’s depression, her unhappy moon-face isolated in fields of inky black, streetlights casting long, lonely shadows. In contrast, Tamaki sets the outdoor memorial service for the dead boyfriend on a frozen winter field, the participants drawn in lightly, almost as if they’re ghosts, the snowy backdrop and blank white balloons (shown caught on bare winter trees) conveying absence and emptiness.
Congratulations to Jillian and Mariko on their tremendous accomplishments!