Quirky Books: Boo by Patricia Hubbell

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Boo by Patricia Hubbell

Specializing in children books and poetry Patricia Hubbell graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English. The poems are fanciful and orientated towards children. A couple poems demonstrate her interest in agriculture, her initial degree plan. The illustrations make book come to life. Oddly scattered, there is a lot of diversity in relation to Halloween.

Several poems are fun, playing to the imagination of children. Conservative Christians may find this aspect as glorifying magic for the pagan holiday Halloween, yet poems remove any adult content or subconscious revelations. Other poems are set in a realistic manner; wherein, a child is enjoying the traditional holiday. Only one poem appeals to adults on a deeper level "the Old House on Halloween," because it addresses age and loneliness. The Old House is abandoned home, not a haunted house.

Well written, traditional rhyme and meter are combined with contemporary style emphasizing repeated words, "Who is that all dressed in black wearing a tall pointed hat? Tapping, tapping, at my door, with her broomstick at my door?" The illustration provides an image of a young girl trick-or-treating in a witch costume.

Other poems follow the nursery rhyme pattern combined with lyric. One poem "Pumpkins Little, Pumpkins Big" captures youthful associations to Halloween. It encompasses farm elements with pigs and pumpkins. Though never living on farm, the activity of carving reminds me of childhood Halloween.

There is hardly any information related to illustrator, Jeff Spackman, on the internet. A teacher with the same name appears frequently. Copyrighted in 1998, traditionalists were apathetic to computer generated design; however, I enjoy the mathematical placement and gradient. This level of quality required months of development with a ruler and Bristol pad.Frankly, a considerable amount of time and skill are required to create excellent computer generated artwork. The only difference is an artist can do more. The process is faster without fussing with tracing paper.

Being able to add lighting effects does not happen with a click of a button, it is similar to painting a picture. The cute images, eerily similar to modern CGI, are excellent artistic renderings. In fact, I wonder if Jeff Spackman is the original artist who encouraged the artistic style preferred in modern animation. It is very similar.

Not sure if the scattered writing detracts or adds from the book. The poems rarely follow any thoughtful pattern; instead, they stand alone like a portfolio. Even the biography skips from college, to childhood and back to current times with unnecessary information. However, I would recommend the book to artists, parents and children. Unfortunately, teen and adult readers will think it is boring.

Poetry Breakdown
Boo! by Patricia Hubbell