Banned Books Week is coming up soon (September 24-30) and in an effort to promote our stand against censorship and banning of books, we hope to begin publishing a review of a banned or challenged book several times a month. The more those books are read, the better off we all will be! We might not like the books, either in full or in part, but that’s not the point. The point is being able to READ them without restrictions. Jack, our current North Carolina Division Chief will be handling those reviews. For more information about Banned Books Week and lists of challenged/banned books, please click on the link to the ALA website!!
Draw Me a Star
Philomel Books, a division of The Putnam & Grosset Group, 1992
From the dust jacket, “This is a story about an artist who, from his earliest years, draws: the simple star, the tree, house, flowers, clouds, night. In drawing, he discovers not only his art, but his life. holding on to his star, he creates a world of light and possibility.
“With his brilliant collage, poignant and powerful in its simplicity, Eric Carle creates an unforgettable story that celebrates the imagination and the artist in us all.”
This lovely picture book reminds me that so much beauty can come from simple things – if I only bother to look. From a star to a sun to a tree to people to home and family and gardens and then to the moon and back to a star, life moves ever forward in a full circle.
The illustrations are colorful and bright collages of painted tissue paper that look like they are (for lack of a better word) crudely put together. It is a shame that the main reason this book isn’t read as much as the author’s other books are is because of the nude man and woman. In the Library’s opinion there’s nothing wrong with the illustration; there’s no detail, just basic forms and shapes. However, the female figure’s two different color circles/breasts, and the triangle of pubic hair bother me a bit. If the artist had given the male figure 2 smaller circles and a triangle, too, it wouldn’t have bugged me at all. And really, it’s a lot less explicit than classical paintings by Renaissance master artists. By focusing on that one illustration, the reader can lose focus on the rest of the book and the simple beauty of the words and the art.
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws – we love the art and the story. And despite the book’s detractors, The Library is committed to the free expression of writers’ and artists’ talents as their muse directs them.
Banned in Texas – Aldine Independent School District (Houston) Magrill Elementary for Sexual Content and Nude illustration
1996 – Washington – Challenged in the elementary school libraries of Edmonds School District for illustrations of nude man and women
1999 – New York – Challenged but retained in the Dorothy B Bunce Elementary School library in Pavilion after parent’ objective of an illustrations of nude man and women based on Adamn and Eve mythology
#61 on Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009