Thursday, September 16, 2010

THE STONECUTTER by Gerald McDermott

The Stonecutter is a 1975 retelling of a Japanese folk tale by Gerald McDermott. The story, which features themes of being content with one’s situation in life and being careful what one wishes for is simple, yet deeply profound.

But what makes this book amazing is McDermott’s art, which is nothing short of phenomenal. Here, McDermott has formed his illustrations as collages made from paper colored with gouache; this gives them a rich visual texture. The characters and environments are done in the blocky, somewhat abstract style McDermott excels at, and which spark the imagination. In all, the art is similar to his prior work on the outstanding Arrow to the Sun.

McDermott is a king of illustration, and his art is rarely more spectacular than it is here. It makes The Stonecutter a wonder.