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Work by Some of World's Best Children's Book Artists on Exhibit

Northwestern University Library helps make “Imaginary Library” show possible

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October 29, 2009 | by Wendy Leopold
Illustration: Too Proud a Snail, by French artist Eric Battut
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Imagine what you might get if you asked some of the world's best children's book illustrators to create an original cover for an as yet unwritten children's book? Well, imagine no longer.

Germany's prestigious International Youth Library asked children's book illustrators from around the world to do just that, and Northwestern University Library and the Evanston Public Library have brought the highly imaginative results to Evanston where some 70 "book dreams" are on display through December at Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

As part of "An Imaginary Library: Children's Books That Don't Exist Yet," Belgium award-winning children's book writer and illustrator Klaas Verplancke recently led a packed illustration workshop for Evanston youngsters at the Evanston Public Library.

Verplancke is among the 70-plus artists featured in the "An Imaginary Library" exhibit of original paintings, sketches and drawings from 30 countries. Among the best-known American artists in the exhibit are MacArthur "genius" award winner Peter Sis and three-time Caldecott Medal winner David Wiesner.

"An Imaginary Library" was featured at the annual regional conference of the United States Board on Books for Young People, which brought together 250 children's librarians, writers, artists, publishers and other professionals to discuss international children's books. Northwestern University Library, with National Louis University and Dominican University's Butler Center for Children's Literature, was instrumental in organizing the conference.

For information about "An Imaginary Library," call (847) 448-8600 or visit http://www.epl.org/.

Topics: University