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Robert Lawson

Author: Gary D Schmidt
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers ; London : Prentice Hall International, ©1997.
Series: Twayne's United States authors series, TUSAS 686.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
A preeminent writer and illustrator of children's books, Robert Lawson (1892-1957) is the only figure within children's literature to have won both the Caldecott and Newbery medals. Over the course of his thirty-year career, Lawson illustrated nearly fifty books by others, and wrote and illustrated some twenty books of his own. His role in defining the style of children's literature at mid-century was pivotal.
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Illustrated works
Illustrations
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Schmidt, Gary D.
Robert Lawson.
New York : Twayne Publishers ; London : Prentice Hall International, ©1997
(OCoLC)645730628
Named Person: Robert Lawson; Robert Lawson; Robert Lawson
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Gary D Schmidt
ISBN: 0805745858 9780805745856
OCLC Number: 36909059
Description: xv, 149 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Contents: Master of Rabbit Hill --
The American experience --
The historical fantasies --
The Rabbit Hill books --
The whimsical nonsense tales --
The collaborative works --
The great wheel : a summing up.
Series Title: Twayne's United States authors series, TUSAS 686.
Responsibility: Gary D. Schmidt.

Abstract:

A preeminent writer and illustrator of children's books, Robert Lawson (1892-1957) is the only figure within children's literature to have won both the Caldecott and Newbery medals. Over the course of his thirty-year career, Lawson illustrated nearly fifty books by others, and wrote and illustrated some twenty books of his own. His role in defining the style of children's literature at mid-century was pivotal. Lawson's illustrations capture character and quirks with great humor and expressiveness; his prose reflects solid American values of liberty, courage, and hard work and inventively combines elements of history, fantasy, realism, and autobiography.

In Robert Lawson - the first book-length treatment of its subject - Gary D. Schmidt argues that Lawson deserves continuing attention for two reasons: his ability to push literary genres to their limits and his influence on later illustrators in the realm of children's literature.

Arranging his presentation by genre, Schmidt inspects the autobiographical works, in which Lawson used personal reminiscence and picture-book format to tell the story of his own family; historical fantasies, a genre Lawson created by using as story narrator the imagined pets of figures like Ben Franklin and Paul Revere; the renowned Rabbit Hill volumes, incorporating realism, fantasy, and autobiography and advocating tolerance; and the "whimsical nonsense tales," in which Lawson merged the realistic and the fantastical to create priceless works of entertainment.

Separate chapters are devoted to Lawson's collaborative endeavors and to his last book, 1957's The Great Wheel, to appraise its melding of form and message. In even-handed fashion Schmidt addresses, too, the works that are dated, inaccessible, or ill-conceived and the ones that treat African Americans in a harsh light. Serving to elucidate the discussions throughout are plentiful reproductions of Lawson's artwork. The only extant study to assess all the works of a gifted writer-illustrator, Robert Lawson makes an ideal supplement for courses in children's literature, children's illustration, and the teaching of reading.

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