Picture This by Molly Bang

The pandemic and life in general this past year has played havoc with my will to read much, but this book’s guide to how the placement, shape and colour of objects in pictures can elicit strong emotions got me right back into the zone. Bang uses simple paper cutouts of geometric shapes and a palette of four colours to show how you could tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood with abstract shapes and lace it with emotion with no other artistic technique. One of those it’s-so-simple-when-you-know-how books, and yet without it you’d be lost stumbling along for years without being able to articulate what you were doing.

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No. 5 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2021.

Patrick Sherriff is an Englishman who survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between teaching English lessons at his conversation school in Abiko, Japan, with his wife, he writes and illustrates textbooks for non-native speakers of English, releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and a monthly newsletter  highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. Saku’s Random Book Club is his latest project to spend more time with books.