Quirky Books: Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian

Douglas Florian is associated with children books. His body of work includes dedications to animals and seasons. His poetic license is maximized with his creative use of words and composition. "Winter Eyes" is an excellent example of his work. A poem entitled "Figure 8" has typographical alignment, so it looks like a figure 8.

This book inspires nostalgia. The statements are designed to provoke joyful thoughts and memories of winter. One poem is composed of keywords, "Frozen lakes, hot pancakes, lots of snow, hot cocoa." The poem is entitled "What I Love About Winter."

Though it could be a children's book, the poems can be understood and loved by anyone of any age. I can imagine my Grandmother copying a poem and pinning it to the fridge to remind her of joyful winter memories and events that still make her chuckle.

Florian rendered all of the illustrations in the book. The style is contemporary impressionism. For "the Winter Sun" he shows the sun as grumpy in the winter, resting on the fields. The sky is yellow with the dark blue clouds dashing along behind the Sun. Bare trees create an interesting border below the Sun. It fits the poem, utilizing impressionism to allude to short winter days.

The winter sun's a grumpy guy.
He scarcely gets to see the sky.
He doesn't speak. His rays are weak.
His disposition's grim and bleak.

I think this book is fantastic. It doesn't matter what time of year you read it. The design and flow are captivating. The use of space is modern and unique. It is appropriate for any age and I would give it to a child, since it might adjust their disposition to seeing better parts of life.

Poetry Breakdown
Winter Blades by Douglas Florian