Monday, June 11, 2012

Mondays with Mira: How to Write and Illustrate Picture Books - Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead

Hullo. Today's video for older kids showcases Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead. It follows the classic plot driven structure of introducing a problem in the beginning - here the very first page, and then having a series of obstacles that the protagonist or main character has to overcome before solving the problem. Where this book differs though is that there are no children, only adults, and the main character does not overcome the problem. Hmmm, you'll have to watch to see what happens.

What I like about this book is how the author takes a concept book and makes a plot driven narrative with it that teaches us everything we need to know about an orchestra in a really engaging way. It's a bit long - but then it's Lemony Snicket and I imagine he pretty much gets to do whatever he likes. I also LOVE the watercolor and pen and ink illustrations by Carson Ellis which manage to be both minimal and excessive at the same time.

Finally, I want to apologize for the video quality not being the greatest. We've been experimenting with filming in different spots in the apartment and I kinda got buried in the couch in this one and the light was not good. Marge was also a little overenthusiastic with the zoom for some reason. Next video we're trying a tripod and either back in the dining room, my studio, or outside. Having said all this, the video still has plenty of helpful information in it. I hope you enjoy it : )

PS If you want to meet the wonderful Marge - here's her website

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