Nov 29, 2011

The Conference of the Birds

It's long been a source of disappointment for me that there aren't more illustrated books for adults. The marriage of words with pictures is so powerful that it seems a shame that past childhood, there aren't more art-filled tomes. You can imagine my excitement, then, when Trish Collins from TLC Book Tours wrote to ask if I'd like to read Peter Sís's The Conference of the Birds, an illustrated all-ages book.

Based on a Sufi epic poem, The Conference of the Birds is a beautiful tale of the journey from dark to light, from fear to bravery, from singularity to community, realized in the travels of a flock of birds seeking their king.

The story is wonderful in its own right, but as an illustrator and a designer, I was blown away by the art and production aspects of The Conference of the Birds. There's an amazing attention to detail in the book, from those embossed elements under the dust jacket, right down to the delightful textured paper in the interior.

Of course there's the matter of the stunning artwork.
Sís's use of color and pattern are wonderfully varied, matching the elements of the story perfectly. But what really struck me with the artwork was how cinematic the spreads felt: I could almost hear the whirring of bird wings near my ear. It's at those moments when Peter Sís's filmmaking background really shines through, giving the story so much visual movement.

So beautiful, both in art and prose. And so very worth the read.


Jennifer Noel Bower said...

What a wonderful share and I couldn't agree with you more. Wonderful picture words shouldn't be reserved only for childhood.

Celtic Traveler said...

There is another author who does beautiful picture books for adults. His name is Shaun Tan and he has wonderful books full of imagination.

Ben Hatke said...

Hey Abigail, I just saw your interview on Seven Impossible Things! So great to learn more about your work.

heathertlc said...

This book looks absolutely GORGEOUS. I would definitely have a permanent place on my bookshelf.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one for the tour!

Geek+Nerd said...

Agreed. The past few years, I'm finding myself drawn to the graphic novels and comics world. I'm reading the most excellent "Habibi," right now. The art work is GORGEOUS.