May 4, 2019

"May I Bring a Friend" by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers, illustrated by Beni Montresor (1964)

BENI MONTRESOR (1926 - 2001) was a versatile Italian artist, opera and film director, set designer, author and children's book illustrator. He won the 1965 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration, which recognized Montresor's jewel-like illustration style of May I Bring a Friend?. The Italian government knighted him in 1966 for his contributions to the arts.
In an essay Montresor wrote for a book about his artistry published in Italy in 1995, he said that for both the opera stage and children's books, ''I must astonish and amaze myself first, and if I do, then the spectator will react in the same way.''

He added that he liked to visit schools for inspiration. ''I often go and visit schools and bring my books,'' he wrote. ''I give no comments nor explanations. I just sit among the children, open one of my books and ask, 'What is this?' 'Why?' ''
Learn more about the illustrator. 

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