May Illustrator Spotlight

Bob Staake - Bluebird

12 May, 2013 | Illustration, Books

When I look through Bob Staake's illustrations, I see many things. He has a keen sense of layout, a wonderful grasp of weight, and a deftly-maneuvered forward motion in his frames. His artistic skills are undeniable and so pleasing to look at, yet these are not what make his pictures so masterful. When I look through his images, a consortium of geometrical shapes and rich colors, I imagine that this is exactly how the world looks to his young readers. Things are simple – charactureized in a larger than life way – and actions are absolute. His collection of visuals paints a larger picture of the minimalistic way kids see and exist in the world; not weighed down by complications but driven by honest goals and reachable dreams.

Staake's newest book, Bluebird, is a wonderful example of this ideology. A wordless book in which a quiet, introverted young boy finds a friend in a small bluebird, this book manages to capture the meaning of friendship in a few simple spreads. Other notable books of his include the Red Lemon, the Donut Chef, and Look! A Book! (a great alternative to I Spy.)

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