The Illustrator I chose to focus my children's book presentation on is Leo Lionni. Leo Lionni is internationally renowned for his paintings, graphic designs, illustrations, and sculpture, as well as for his books for children. The three books I chose were Matthew's Dream, Frederick, and Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse. The reason I chose these three is not only that they have the same illustrator but they also have the same animal for the characters, so the pictures look similar. This way young children can recognize the similarities.
Matthew's Dream is about a mouse who visits an art museum and it inspires him to become a painter. Frederick is about Frederick the field mouse and his brothers saving up for winter, Fredericks brothers don't feel like Frederick is doing his fair share but over the winter when they run out of food Frederick and his gatherings actually saved the day. Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse is about a mouse named Alexander who wants to be a toy mouse like his friend Willy until he finds out Willy is to be thrown away.
Leo Lionni became the first children's author/illustrator to use collage as the main medium for his illustrations. Reviewers such as Booklist and School Library Journal have said that Lionni's illustrations are "bold, sumptuous collages" that include "playful patches of color" and that his "beautifully simple and boldly graphic art is perfect to share with very young children." The definition of a collage is: a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric onto a backing.
The art activity that I am going to do to focus of Leo Lionni's illustrations is an animal collage activity. I am going to have each student pick and animal of their choosing and make a collage of that animal out of ripped paper.