The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert is a nominee for the 2015-16 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

The Scraps Book introduces readers to the life and work of Lois Ehlert. This book, peppered with photographs, Ehlert’s artwork, and the items that inspire her, demonstrates that art can be found everywhere.

This book is a great read for budding artists (as well as art teachers) as it goes into Ehlert’s creative process and some of the techniques she uses to create the collages seen in her picture books. It may also be a good addition to library Makerspaces. I envision making this a big part of my own space, urging students to read it and use it to jump-start ideas, while simply placing a variety of items at tables that students can use to create whatever art comes to them.

While The Scraps Book doesn’t really lend itself to use as a read-aloud, I think it would be ideal for an author study on Lois Ehlert, discussions of creativity, and the work that goes into creating a book. Like The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky, I also think The Scraps Book could be used to inspire students to create art by upcycling and using found objects.