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Artist’s Choice by Marc Simont

An illustrator comments in each issue of The Horn Book upon a new picture book he particularly likes.

A Bell For Ursli
Comment by Marc Simont

The final judgment upon looking at a picture book — as in looking at a painting, piece of sculpture, reading a book, etc. — rests on the amount of enjoyment we derive from it. When methods and techniques become so important they can’t be overlooked, the intensity of enjoyment value is cut.

When I was asked to mention a recent picture book that I liked, A Bell for Ursli [by Selina Chönz] came to my mind, but, in order to give specific reasons for my choice, I had to go back and take another look.

The illustrations by Alois Carigiet have three important points in their favor — first, they are in harmony with the text; second, they are beautiful pictures; third, they hold together as a unit.

As illustrations they complement the story perfectly. Color is used for what it can do to a picture, not just as a means to define objects. When an object can be used to advantage, however, as in the case of the great, big, beautiful bell, the opportunity is not overlooked. Aside from working well with the story, the illustrations hold their own as individual pictures, and this is done without disturbing the cohesiveness of the book.

It is a well-planned, beautifully executed piece of work done in excellent taste.

From the March 1951 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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