Friday, October 3, 2014

Storyteller's Journey

The Bliss of Beautiful Books

During the process of collaborating with the publisher of The Scandinavian Santa, I discovered that the look of my book was just as important as its story. I know most authors are super excited to see their cover, as was I, but it went beyond that. I wanted the quality of the paper to be just so, I wanted the fonts & colors of my book to be just so, and on and on.

I've always enjoyed having books displayed in nearly every room of our home. I use them like an interior decorator would use expensive sculptures. One thing I've discovered is that some of the most beautiful books I own, came not from a bookstore, but from a museum or specialty shop. Museums treat an entire book like a piece of art, and rightfully so. Specialty shops sometimes carry beautiful gems not found in chain bookstores.

The Race of the Birkebeiners, by Lise Lunge-Larsen was illustrated by Mary Azarian. I found this book in a small Scandinavian specialty shop, and fell in love with it. The story is a retelling of a Norwegian event from the eleventh century. However, I'll admit, I purchased it because the entire book is just so beautiful! It also would be considered a comp book for my children's book: The Scandinavian Santa. This book sits in our dining room.

The Barefoot Book of CLASSIC POEMS was compiled and illustrated by Jackie Morris - I purchased it at the Portland Art Museum. This is one of my very favorite books for a number of reasons: 1- It's a children's book,
2- The illustrations are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen,
3- It's a book of poems. This book sits next to Lise Lunge-Larsen's book in our dining room. I pick it up and peruse through it at least once a week; it is that extraordinary! The first poem in this beautiful book expresses a lovely truth:

                                                      A Book

                                     There is no frigate like a book
                                     To take us lands away,
                                     Nor any coursers like a page
                                     Of prancing poetry,
                                     This traverse may the poorest take
                                     Without oppress of toll;
                                     How frugal is the chariot
                                     That bears a human soul!
                                                                              Emily Dickinson

Children's books have the unique ability to blend fine art with literature in a way that can create an extraordinary object that is not only lovely, but inspiring. The bliss of beautiful books.


  1. I, too, like to use books as decorations. I don't right now, my kids are too young and I don't want them to ruin those kinds of books. We still have lots of books scattered about the house. They are well used and often times falling apart. Even so, they hold all the memories of my three kids reading them frequently.

    1. I know what you mean, Sara. My three boys are now grown, but my guest room contains a big bookshelf full of their childhood favorites, some of mine too. I'm not sure what I'll do with my keepsake books throughout the house if and when grandchildren ever show up. ^_^