The advent of the “Image Reading Era” in the 21st century marks a tremendous change in the reading experience of human beings. Images are pervasive in our daily life and occupy every corner of this era. On the one hand, people yearn for the new and colorful experience of the sensory world, but on the other hand, there are still some people who miss the pure white memory that has passed away: fortunately, in the transition zone between images and words, there is a kind of satisfying The thing that both parties seek – picture books, it not only creates a country of color images for human beings, but also leads people to the imaginary world full of unique paper books.
Picture book, English name is Picture Book, Japanese is called “Love En”, as the name suggests, it refers to “drawn book”, that is, a book mainly based on paintings and a small amount of text. Its audience is mainly children, but some are also popular with adults, and the purpose is to let readers enjoy the colorful life through a series of simple and intuitive stories.
Picture books are not simply “books with pictures”, they are an independent form of books. In picture books, pictures are no longer like illustrations in the traditional sense, and only exist as embellishments of words: they take on the main task of storytelling, become the lifeblood of books, and words become auxiliary. Because of this, the text of the picture book must be concise, and a few words must match the picture to build a story with ups and downs. Its style must be fun and lively, in line with children’s language habits. In particular, its pictures must be clear and intuitive, and can properly convey the meaning that the author wants to express. In an excellent picture book, each page of the picture is carefully hand-painted by the painters, paying attention to the painting techniques, details and individuality.
Picture books in the modern sense were born in Europe and the United States in the second half of the 19th century. In 1658, the Czech educator Comenius published The World Illustrated, which is recognized as the earliest illustrated children’s book in Europe. Later Caldecott, Greenaway and Porter were all outstanding representatives of the early picture book industry, and Caldecott was even regarded as the “father of modern picture books” by later generations. In the 20th century, Western picture books spread to Asia, triggering a trend of pursuing learning. Represented by Japan, Japan’s picture book business started in the 1950s and rose in the 1970s. At present, the economic value created by picture books has occupied a part of its GDP. Until now, picture books have become a fashion item for children’s reading around the world. There are many awards for picture books in the world, the most famous ones are the International Hans Christian Andersen Award for Painters, the Kate Greenway Award in the United Kingdom, the Caldecott Award in the United States, the German Picture Book Award, the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair Best Children’s Book Award and the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair. The Best Books of the International Children’s Book Fair, etc.
Most of these awards have a history of decades. Since their establishment, batches of outstanding painters, with their childlike innocence and enthusiasm, have created countless touching picture stories for the world, opening people to one by one full of magical adventures Or the perfect country where dreams come true.
there is such a rabbit-simple lines, naive, popular all over the world, even people who are not familiar with children’s books can easily find it in life, because it can be seen everywhere and deeply rooted in people’s hearts-this famous rabbit is called “Miffy”, its creator is an amiable little old man – Mr. Dick Bruner.
On August 23, 1927, Bruner was born into a wealthy family in Utrecht, the Netherlands. After World War II, Bruner’s father wanted his son to inherit the business of his publishing house, so he sent his son to London and Paris to study trade. However, Brunerzhi was not here. He loved painting since childhood and dreamed of becoming an outstanding painter one day; in London and Paris, the cultural ancient capitals that many artists dreamed of, he often lingered in various museums and watched various art exhibitions. In the days of studying abroad, modernist painters such as Picasso, Braque, Ledger and Matisse had a great influence on him, especially the works of simple forms and bright colors of Matisse in his later years left a deep impression on him. After returning from studying abroad, Bruna did not act according to his father’s will, but decided to pursue his own life. Fortunately, his father was not a dictator, but gave him a chance. In 1951, 24-year-old Bruner joined his father’s company as an American editor, drawing posters for books and designing covers for the Zwarte Eertjes series of detective stories. During these days, Bruner worked diligently, started from scratch, and laid a solid foundation step by step. In 1953, the increasingly full-fledged Bruner published his first picture book “The Apple” (The Apple), in this book Bruner’s style has already taken shape – concise and simple, became Bruner. A logo for a picture book. The popular “Apple” established Bruner’s status as a professional painter.
In 1955, Bruner’s most important work in his life, the Miffy series of picture books, was born. By coincidence that year, Bruna took his young son to the beach for a vacation, and on the beach, he ran across a little rabbit, which was ignored by the bustling crowd, but was discovered by the caring person Bruna. And interesting deeply touched the father. Since then, the protagonist of his son’s bedtime story has become this little rabbit named “Miffy”. At the request of his son, Bruner later drew these stories down, and this resulted in Miffy’s first collection of stories, “The Rabbit and the Sea.” Miffy’s outline is simple, and Bruner carefully draws thick lines for her with a brush, which is called Lines with ‘heartbeat’; picture books are bright in color, mostly in direct red, Blue, yellow, white and green, the picture is crisp and clear. Of course, Bruna also gave deep emotions in the picture book. Although the image is simple, as long as the mouth or eyes of the story characters are slightly changed, the emotions of the characters can be conveyed immediately. For example, although Miffy only has two small eyes and a forked mouth, when she is very sad, a tear will be added to the corner of her eye, and the sadness will be on the paper. Until 2007, the 117th picture book, “Queen Miffy”, was published in the series of stories of this popular little rabbit. She has been sought after for decades. She is never more than 6 years old, and most of what she has experienced is all kinds of things that children will encounter in their daily life: for example, she has a favorite blue floral dress: she bravely went to the hospital to see a doctor; The bear toy is always close to you; there are also the first time to fly, go to school, birthday, camping and so on. Bruner said: “My books are drawn for children, which can leave a lot of space for children to think and imagine. I hope that children over 8 months old can understand my books and have no language barriers. It can be understood by children in any country.”
Indeed, Miffy’s ordinaryness and affinity make children all over the world feel free from her, and her patterns and words have been registered as trademarks around the world. Today, the picture books created by Mr. Bruner have been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. Since 2000, the Central Library of Utrecht, the Netherlands, has opened a permanent exhibition of works by Dick Bruner, so that generations can appreciate the masterpieces of this young gentleman.
The Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy is world-famous. Every year, there is a highlight at the book fair: the best works are selected from the three levels of fiction, non-fiction and children, and they are awarded the most attention by the global children’s publishing industry. “Bologna Ragazzi Award for Best Children’s Book”.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier, which won the Best Children’s Book Award at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 1996, is a typical representative of excellent picture books. The author of the picture book, York Miller, takes Andersen’s outstanding fairy tale of the same name as the background, from a new perspective, without using words, and relying on vivid pictures, he tells a story about a small tin soldier and a princess that happened in contemporary times. A gripping adventure story. The picture book has a strong sense of impact and is full of tension, the story is rich, and the brushwork is realistic, presenting the real and ironic phenomenon in the development of capitalist civilization; Miller borrowed the foundation laid by Andersen to give this classic fairy tale another life and soul. This once unfortunate love fable also seems to have a warm ending. Let the underage children discover the reality of the outside world and the magnificence of the imaginary world, and let us adults, through the little tin soldiers, travel through time to touch the memories of the past – this is exactly what Miller is a generation. The tenderness and compassion of the master of fairy tales.
Miller was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1942. After graduating from the Biel School of Applied Arts in Zurich, he went to Paris alone before the age of 20 to engage in illustration and design work in a local advertising company. The artistic creation has laid a solid foundation. Out of his long-standing love for picture books, Miller was determined to achieve something: so he quit his job in Paris and returned to Switzerland to concentrate on creating picture books. The beginning was not smooth. Miller’s paintings were not appreciated by others. Although he was persistent in painting without hesitation, he still felt confused. Until one day, his 4-year-old daughter asked him, “What games did you play when you were young?” The words were like lightning, and the door of memory was opened inadvertently and clearly. Now, what he remembers is not only the games of the past, but also the homeland that melted into the past and quietly accompanied him to grow up little by little. There, there are bright sunshine, singing birds, running animals, and shade The green trees, the gurgling stream… The memory door that burst open, inspired him in the dark. A year later, in 1973, a book titled “The Excavator Sounds Every Year – The Countryside Has Changed” The picture book was born. This is Miller’s first published work, which contains his reminiscence of the natural ecology and simple human feelings of the past that have passed away with the wind, as well as his condemnation of industrial civilization. The book received a strong response, and as it was published in many countries in Europe and America, it also won Miller a huge international reputation. Since then, Miller has officially started his artistic creation path full of true feelings. After he became famous, his painting style was delicate, with a strong sense of realism and rich content. He made good use of film lenses and comics, and won a series of laurels internationally.
The reason why the Bologna Children’s Book Fair awarded the annual international award to such a painter is not only because of Miller’s skilled painting skills, but also because of his vision and conscience as an artist. Miller believes that children cannot be protected in a glass cover all the time, but must understand the real world, so he does not agree that books for children are just light and simple; on the contrary, he always faces the truth and cruelty of society without escaping. It is not an exaggeration, it is just a truthful reflection, but it always blooms in another village, blooming flowers of hope in the place of despair, making readers full of confidence in the future. Of course, Miller is serious, but he will never forget his own duty as a fairy tale home, that is, he must bring joy to children. He needs insight, exposure, criticism, but also comfort, encouragement, and responsibility—this is not a contradiction, but the personality charm and spiritual realm that a qualified fairy tale master should have. The selection of Miller for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is a recognition and support for his artistic conception, and therefore also reflects the connotation of this book fair: the best care for children is spiritual guidance and encouragement.
Books are an indispensable nutrient in human life, and the return of reading as a way of life is itself a process of self-discovery and self-reflection. However, when digital electronic products invaded the field of paper books with a scent of ink, when commercial interests annihilated the atmosphere of books and humanistic care, when the cruelty of the adult world destroyed the innocent innocence of people at the beginning – such times, In order to stick to our spiritual home, we have to find another way and fight hard. The new form of “picture book” not only satisfies people’s need to get shock from intuitive images, but also invites people to explore endless imagination space; The gap between them is also the guardian of the beauty and innocence in everyone’s heart, so that everyone dares to face life and challenges. Picture books are the unyielding watchers of the spiritual home of mankind in the era of picture reading!