Sunday, September 26, 2010

ARROW TO THE SUN by Gerald McDermott

Arrow to the Sun is a 1974 children's book by Gerald McDermott, adapted from Pueblo Indian myth. Here, the son of the Lord of the Sun strives to find and be accepted by his father.

The story is straightforward, as these folktales go. On its own, it's largely unremarkable. But McDermott's illustrations are mind-blowing. 

Done in gouache and ink, the art features thick curves and right angles in a somewhat abstract style that's  reminiscent of Pueblo art (it's also reminiscent of Atari 2600 graphics). McDermott's judiciously limited use of color heightens the art by drawing the focus to its texture and focusing on the mood of the story.

Arrow to the Sun is a fine children's book with some of the most spectacular illustrations ever; it's certainly McDermott's best work.