Here’s what I remember about Plasticine. It had this weird but somehow intriguing smell that I can’t really describe. Whenever I smell that same scent, I immediately am five-years-old in Kindergarten again. I remember how annoyed I was whenever some stupid boy smooshed all the colours together and all we’d have left to play with was an ugly green-brown. I remember how much I loved to play with Plasticine, how it felt between my fingers and left behind a stain on my fingers.
I remember how hard it was to make anything look good. Because I was five years old and because there were no pretty colours.
Barbara Reid does not have this problem. Her beautiful illustrations are filled with smeary goodness and she has all the amazing colours. In Picture the Sky, the textures are so life-like I had to give them a second look. I was particularly astounded by a window screen, the movement of rain, and the texture of a hammock.
The illustrations are mesmerizing. I looked at them again and again—new details found every time.
Barbara Reid was at Events 23 (Plasticine Perfection) and 41 (Best in the Biz) at the 2017 Vancouver Writers Festival.