Minilab Bookshelf | Do You See What I See?
This week at Minilab, we’ve been enjoying the beautiful Flying Eye Books reissues of Helen Borten’s Do You See What I See? and Do You Hear What I Hear?. Originally published in the 1960s, they have been lovingly restored for new generations. Helen Borten was born in Philadelphia in 1930 and later attended the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. She created a number of well-loved picture books using a stunning combination of woodcut, collage, paint and printing techniques, coupled with vivid poetic word imagery.
In Do You See What I See? Borten encourages children to look at the colours, shapes and lines of the world around them and see the beauty of it as though a work of art. ‘I see lines and shapes and colors everywhere around me.’
‘When you put them together they make a picture.’ Like this, Borten continues on an inspiring story of joining straight lines to create triangles and squares and bending them into circles to introduce children to the basics of art instilling in them a creative and curious way to look at everything around them.
Everything in the world is made up of a combination of these lines, shapes and colours; ‘You have a shape. And so does your dog and your toys and the flowers and butterflies in your garden.’ By breaking up the complex things that she sees into simple building blocks, Borten explains the basics of visual design to inspire children to put them together and paint their own pictures.