Saturday, August 15, 2015

Featured Illustrator, part 2: books illustrated by Ted Lewin

Our featured illustrator for August is one of my all-time favorites, Ted Lewin! Part 1 introduces Ted Lewin as well as my must-read books that I share every year with my students. This post will highlight book that he illustrated for various authors. Part 3 will feature books both written and illustrated by him, while Part 4 shares books that are a collaboration with his wife, Betsy Lewin.

Books Illustrated by Ted Lewin

In addition to the books I already mentioned in Part 1 about Ted Lewin, there are many books written by others that he has illustrated. Here is a brief description of some of these wonderful stories.

Pennies in a Jar (2007) by Dori Chaconas and illustrated by Ted Lewin. This homefront story during WWI is narrated by a young boy whose father has recently left to fight in the war. The boy is nervous about a lot of things, but especially the various street horses who work in and around his neighborhood. While saving pennies for a special birthday gift for his Dad, the boy finds a solution to more problems than just that one.

Island of the Blue Dolphins (1990 reissue) by Scott O'Dell featuring illustrations by Ted Lewin. Until putting together this series, I had no idea that there was an edition of this book illustrated by Ted Lewin. My greatest disappointment, however, was that the illustrations are reproduced in black and white, and that the title image is the only one in full color. It seems like a waste with such luminous artwork.

The World's Greatest Elephant (2006) by Ralph Helfer and illustrated by Ted Lewin. This remarkable true story tells a tale of friendship, loss, and despair between a young German boy and an elephant born on the same day. This is another book that deserves an author's note because this nearly-unbelievable story is actually true, but the truth is only hinted at in the author's biography. (You can read the full story in Modoc - The True Story of the World's Greatest Elephant also by Ralph Helfer.)

The World's Greatest Lion: a true story of survival (2012) by Ralph Helfer and illustrated by Ted Lewin. In this second collaboration, the true nature of the story is a little more obvious, as Ralph himself appears in the book. Zamba, the titular lion, is rescued by humans after his parents are killed. He eventually becomes trained and stars in several movies and shows. But it seems nature still has one more challenge in store...

The Longest Night (2009) by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Ted Lewin. This story of the end of winter and beginning of spring reads like a lyrical folktale. With the sun long gone the animals debate among themselves about who can bring it back. Lewin's artwork ranges from a variety of close-up to larger scene shots, featuring each animal and its efforts.

Click here or the featured illustrator tag to see all the posts in the featured illustrator series.

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