illustration for The Nutcracker by Gannady Spirin

With liturgical regularity, Christmastide brings the magic of The Nutcracker. This is the perfect season for it. By December, the year’s worth of adult disdain for all things enchanted has reached a crescendo. “No, Virginia, you’ve been had,” galumph uncomprehending gradgrinds who dismiss fantasy as lying. Childhood’s sensitivity to wonder is put to the test this time of year. Children are made to suffer obtuse grown-ups who refuse to believe that toys come alive, that mice have queens, or have forgotten that nightmares, too, have their bewitchments. Continue Reading
Jerry Pinkney's Narrative Art

JERRY PINKNEY IS A NATIONAL TREASURE. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, his children’s book illustrations offer artists more food than the ritual tours of Chelsea. Implicit in the beauty of his work (sometimes commissioned on behalf of less distinguished texts) and the decency that informs it, is more culture than in whole square blocks of any art district you can name. Artists in search of a purpose should put down Art in America or Modern Painters and get their hands on whatever they can find illustrated by Pinkney. Continue Reading