Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Fine Art of Collage: Recommended Global Children's Literature

From "Rosa" by Bryan Collier

In the NY Times on Friday and on Saturday of this week, two collage artists works were announced in separate shows, one in NJ and one on NY. The exhibition, Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage is being shown at Princeton University Art Museum through June 26, 2011 and includes 80 works.  Across the river in New York City, 21 collages by Romare Bearden are being shown at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in the exhibition, Romare Bearden Collage: A Centennial Celebration though May 21, 2011. I love collage (all forms of it) and decided in this post to emphasize children's books that include collage, montage or assemblage.

Collage, Montage, Assemblage
Collage: artistic composition of fragments pasted on a surface.
Montage: composite photograph made by combining separate photographs, An artistic composition made up of several different types of elements
Assemblage: an artistic composition made from scraps, junk, and odds and ends

from Mirror by Jeanne Baker (Assemblage)
Anaya, Rudolfo A. 2000. An Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez. Illustrated by Gaspar Enriquez. (Collage illustrations). El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.
Argueta, Jorge. 2003. Xochitl and the Flowers/Xochitl, la niña de las flores. Illustrated by Carl Angel. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press. (Acrylic paints, colored pencil, and photo collage).
Baker, Jeanne. 2010. Mirror. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. (Collages and assemblages)
------------------. 2005. The Hidden Forest. NY: Walker Books. (15 collages/assemblages).
-----------------. 2003. Home in the Sky. NY: Walker Books. (Collage).
Burleigh, Robert. 2004. Langston’s Train Ride. Illustrations by Leonard Jenkins. NY: Orchard Books (Collage).
Bryan, Ashley. 2003. Beautiful Blackbird. NY: Atheneum. (Paper collage)
Chin-Lee, Cynthia. 2006. Akira to Zoltan: Twenty-Six Men Who Changed the World. Illustrated by Megan Halsey, & Sean Addy. Watertown, MA:  Charlesbridge Publishing. (Collages).
--------------------, 2005. Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World. Illustrated by Megan Halsey, & Sean Addy. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Collages).
Collier, Bryan. 2004. Uptown. NY: Henry Holt. (Watercolor and photo collages).
Collard, Sneed B. 2008. Wings. Illustrated by Robin Brickman. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Handmade collages).
from Wings. Illustrated by Robin Brickman
Coy, John. 2003. Strong to the Hoop. Illustrated by Leslie Jean-Bart. NY: Lee & Low. (Blends photography & scratchboard drawings in a series of arresting mixed media collages).
cummings, e.e. 2005. Love: Selected Poems. Art by Christopher Myers. New York: Jump at the Sun. (Collage: photographs &  paintings)
Davies, Jacqueline. 2004. The Man Who Drew Birds: The Story of James Audubon. Illustrated by  Melissa Sweet. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Mixed-media artwork, which includes photos of found objects, re-created pages from a nature sketchbook, maps, and watercolor paintings ).
Florian, Doug. 1998. Insectlopedia. Boston: Harcourt. (Watercolor on primed brown paper bags with collage).
Frasier, Debra. 2002. Out of the Ocean. San Diego, Voygaer. (Mixed-media collage).
Fritz, Jeanne. 2001. Leonardo’s Horse. Illustrated by Hudson Talbott. NY: Putnam Juvenile. (watercolors, pen and ink, colored pencil, and collage).
Giovanni, Nikki. 2005. Rosa. Illustrations by Bryan Collier. NY: Henry Holt. (Watercolor & Collage).
Greenberg, Jan. 2003. Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories. New York: Harry N. Abrams. (illustrations are collages by Romare Bearden).
Greene, Carole. 1998. Sunflower Island. Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins. NY: Harper Collins. (Collage-style painting)
Greenfield, Eloise. 2007. When The Horses Ride By: Children in the Times of War. Illustrations by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. New York: Lee & Low Books. (Collage).
From Rain, Rain, Rain Forest. Illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Guiberson, Brenda Z. 2004. Rain, Rain, Rain Forest. Illustrations by Steve Jenkins. NY: Henry Holt. (Torn and cut paper collage).
Hartfield, Claire. 2002. Me and Uncle Romie: A Story Inspired by the Life and Art of Romare Bearden. Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue. NY: Dial. (Acrylic illustrations with collage elements honoring Romare Bearden).
Hughes, Langston. 1995. The Block. Paintings by Romare Bearden. NY: Viking Juvenile. (Collage work by Bearden).
Jenkins, Steve. 2007. Living Color. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Cut-paper collage).
----------------. 2002. Life on Earth The Story of Evolution. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Torn paper collage).
Lee, Spike & Tonya Lewis Lee. 2011. Giant Steps to Change the World. Illustrated by Sean Qualls. NY: Simon & Schuster. (Abstract, mixed media paintings & collage).
Lionni, Leo. 1973. Frederick. NY: Dragonfly Books. (Torn and cut paper collage)
Littlechild, George (Plains Cree Nation). 2003. This Land is My Land. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press. (Paintings: Mixed-Media including collage, traditional motifs).
Myers, Walter Dean. 2005. Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam. Collage by Ann Grifalconi. New York: HarperTrophy. (Collage)
------------------------. 2003. Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly. Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins. NY: Amistad.  (Collage-style painting)
------------------------. 1997. Harlem. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. NY: Scholastic. (Collage: black ink and acrylic paintings)
Nobisso, Josephine. 2003. In English, Of Course. Illustrated by Dasha Ziborova. Washington Beach, NY: Gingerbread House.(Mixed media collage). Nye, Naomi Shihab (sel.). 1995. This Tree is Older Than You: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems and Stories from Mexico. NY: Simon & Schuster. (Includes Rudolfo Morales’ collage).
Patton, Christopher. 2007. Jack Pine. Illustrated by Cybele Young. Toronto: Groundwood Press. (Three-dimensional collages of etched paper).
From Wabi Sabi, Collage by Ed Young
Perdomo William. 2002. Visiting Langston. Illustrations by Bryan Collier. NY: Henry Holt.  (Watercolor & collage).
Pfeffer, Wendy. 1997. A Log’s Life. Illustrated by Robin Brickman. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Prats, Joan de Déu. 2005. Sebastian’s Roller Skates. Illustrated by Francesc Rovira. La Jolla, CA: Kane/Miller. (Collage)
Rappaport, Doreen. 2001. Martin’s Big Words. Illustrations by Bryan Collier. New York: Hyperion. (Collage).
Reibstein, Mark. 2008. Wabi Sabi. Illustrated by Ed Young. NY: Little Born Books for Young Readers. (Collage made from natural elements [autumn leaves, corn husks], found papers, ribbon, fabric, lint, paper, tissue)
Rhomer, Harriet (ed.). 1999. Honoring Our Ancestors: Stories and Paintings by Fourteen Artists. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press. (Collage is included, p 26).
-------------------------. 1997. Just Like Me: Self-Portraits by Fourteen Artists. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press. (Rodolfo Morales’ collage is included, pp 15-16).
----------------------, 1997. Invisible Hunters (Stories from Central America). Octavio Chow, Morris Viduare (Adapters). Illustrated by Joe Sam. San Francisco, Children’s Book Press. (Primitive illustrations in deep contrasting colors and collage).
Rolling, James Haywood, Jr. 2005. Come Look at Me: Discovering African American Art with Children. NY: Lickle Publishing. (Includes Romare Bearden’s “Morning.” collage).
Rubin, Susan Goldman. 2004. Art Against the Odds: From Slave Quilts to Prison Paintings. NY:  Crown. (Collage, p. 5).
Schotter, Roni. 1999. Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street. Illustrations by Krysten Brooker. NY: Scholastic. (Collage: Incorporates pieces of newspaper, scraps of patterned cloth, and small objects into her paintings).
Shange, Ntozake. 1994.  I Live in Music. Paintings by Romare Bearden. New York: Welcome Books. (Romare Bearden’s collages).
Shore, Diane Z. & Alexander, Jessica. 2006. This Is the Dream. Illustrations by James Ransome. NY: Amistad. (Oil paintings & Collage).
Siebert, Diane. 2006. Tour America: A Journey Through Poems and Art. Illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. (A variety of artwork: acrylic, charcoal, colored-pencils, collage, gouache, graphite, ink, oils, pastel;s, photography and watercolor).
Smith Jr., Charles S. 2007. Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali. Illustrations by Bryan Collier. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. (Watercolor & Collage).
Stanley, Diane. 2000. Leonardo Da Vinci. NY: HaprerTrophy. (Watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, and photo collage on Whatman watercolor paper. ).
Tan, Shaun. 2010. The Lost Thing.  Melbourne, AU: Lothian Children's Books.(Collage, acrylic, oils, found papers) A short animated film was made based on the book.
Thimmesh, Catherine. The Sky’s the Limit: Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ((Mixed-media collage)
-------------------------. 2002. Girls Think of Everything. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Collage)
Tryszynska-Frederick, Luba and Ann Marshall. 2003. Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen. Illustrated by Michelle Roehm McCann. San Francisco: Tricycle Press. (Oil and collage).
Walker, Alice. 2007. Why War is Never a Good Idea. Illustrated by Stefano Vitale. NY: HarperCollins. (Naive-style paintings in neon-bright colors and collage)
Young, Ed. 2005. Beyond the Great Mountains: A Visual Poem About China. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle. (Designed as a vertical flipbook; collages of cut and torn papers, includes Chinese characters)
------------. 2002. What About Me? NY: Philomel. (Cut paper collages).

Informational Books About Collage, Montage, Assemblage
Bang, Molly. 2000. Picture This: How Pictures Work. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. (Simple shapes cut from 3, then 4 colors of construction paper (red, black, pale purple and white) used to retell Red Riding Hood).
Bantock, Nick. 2004. Urgent 2nd Class: Creating Curious Collage, Dubious Documents and Other Art, from Ephemera.  San Francisco: Chronicle Books. (Shows how to use found objects to create collage).
Cornell, Joseph, & Baverstock, Alison. 2003. Secrets in a Box (Adventures in Art). New York: Prestel Publishing.  (Collage boxes).
Sommers, Joan & Drake, Ascha. 2006. The Joseph Cornell Box: Found Objects, Magical Worlds. Kennebunkport, ME: Cider Mill Press. (Mimics Cornell’s collage boxes and contains found objects).


  1. I love collage too, and this is a fascinating list of books and illustrations!

  2. I enjoy children's books, especially illustrations. Such a beautiful range of works. Glad you found the list fascinating :)

  3. I noticed you included Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchrist's WHEN THE HORSES RIDE BY on your list. You might also want to take a look at THE GREAT MIGRATION, which they also worked on together. It just came out around Christmas 2010.

  4. I feel strongly learning the topic, however I need to learn more on this topic.
    Carry on your updates..!!


    African American art, black African art