Dream Something Big

The Story of the Watts Towers

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted *here today*
by True Tales & A Cherry On Top

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are listed below!  Thanks for joining us!

(pub. 8.18.2011)  40 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top 

A uthor: Diana Hutts Aston
and collages:  Susan L. Roth

C haracters: Simon Rodia and the Watts Towers
O verview from the publisher: 
        "Uncle Sam's dream began with something tiny - just one single chip of broken tile that he found on the street. But that little chip became the first building block to a U.S. National Landmark. Day after day, year after year, a young girl named Marguerite watches Uncle Sam turn thousands of seashells, tiles, mirrors, and rocks into a group of glorious, nearly 100-foot-tall towers - which later become known as the Watts Towers..."
T antalizing taste: 
       "Uncle Sam was like a spider weaving his web of steel and cement and lacy shadows.'"

and something more:  I learned that the illustrator of this picture book biography, Susan Roth, who now lives in NYC studied art at Mills College.  My connections to Mills College are that my mother-in-law studied there, and in October I'll be on a panel at the norcal SCBWI conference there.  It's such a lovely campus and always a treat to be there.
     I was intrigued to read about Susan Roth's collage illustrations, as described on her website: "All but the first two of her 40 books are illustrated with cut and torn papers from all over the world, and bits of many other things, too: threads, fabrics, wood shavings, photographs, doilies, insides of envelopes, dried flowers. She is always looking for things to glue onto her pictures that she hopes are full of surprises."
     And it's always so interesting to hear about someone's passion, collage in Susan Roth's case:  "I don't paint. Over the years I have developed my collage technique into one which is exclusively faithful to cutting and tearing. From the most complete background papers to the tiniest dots of eyes and I's, I only cut or rip. This has become a real issue for me. I wear my 'no pencils, pens nor paints' sign like a badge of honor." The descriptions of her workspace reminded me of photos of Romare Bearden's studio -- paper and materials everywhere.  The makings of creativity!


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Ana Maria Rodriguez said...

Than you for hosting Nonfiction Monday today, Jeanne!

Jeff Barger said...

Jeanne, thanks for hosting this week! Good luck with your new book.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks Ana Maria and Jeff!

shelf-employed said...

I've never heard of the Watts Towers. I look forward to reading Dream Something Big. Also looking forward to reading, My Hands Sing the Blues!

Tjhe Swimmer Writer said...

Visit my latest post at http:theswimmerwriter.blogspot.com to learn why I'm enthusiastic about CHARLES AND EMMA.

Peggy T said...

Thank you for hosting today. I look forward to seeing your new book. It looks great.

Heidi Grange said...

Thanks for hosting.

Janet S. said...

Thanks for hosting.
My selection is "Yellowstone Moran: painting the American West" by Lita Judge.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks to everyone for participating in the Nonfiction Monday roundup! I enjoyed all of your reviews -- great selection of books.