Over the last few months, we've been hard at work creating a video series to introduce you to our artists! We're happy to release the first of four videos today featuring the artist behind The Environmental Book Pack, Nathalie Trovato.
In Nathalie's pack of seven books, she explores her environment (and ours, too!) through cut paper images. Each book is a sort of mini-exploration into the fundamental parts of our environment: gardens, landscapes, habitats, and the elements.
Nathalie's interest in how words and images co-habitate to produce meaning aligned very well with our philosophy. Because our books use images to support beginning readers as they are first introduced to written words, having an artist who describes herself as a "visual translator" was the perfect fit.
While filming this video, I loved sitting down with her and discussing the thoughts that went into her work for The Environmental Book Pack. Her interest in scale is fascinating—as you look through her books, you'll see that occasionally there are very small things that are typically large, and very large things that are typically small. You'll find a lot of this in books like "In My Garden", where you will see an enormous carrot in the night, a giant worm in a tiny car, and a small cat on the windowsill by a huge garden. She wants her images to give a sense of what it is like to be a small child in a big world, where the scale of things is constantly changing.
Another interesting aspect to her books is how she frames images. She spoke to me a bit about why there are a lot of subjects in her images that are partially cropped, such as the plane flying in "Landscapes", the birthday cake in "Fire", and the mother in "Water". Nathalie wants the image to continue off the page because she wants the child reading the book to imagine what could be happening outside of what they see on the page. Where is that plane flying in "Landscapes", and who is at that birthday party in "Fire"? It allows so much room for a child's imagination to be engaged while they simultaneously strengthen their reading skills.