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POLKA DOT PARADE by Deborah Blumenthal Kirkus Star

POLKA DOT PARADE

A Book About Bill Cunningham

by Deborah Blumenthal ; illustrated by Masha D'yans

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4998-0664-9
Publisher: Little Bee

A picture-book tribute to fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.

From fashion and beauty journalist and children’s author Blumenthal comes a touching tale of one of New York’s most beloved and slightly eccentric fashion icons. With his signature “blue French worker’s jacket, tan pants, and black sneakers” and a camera “slung around his neck,” for decades Cunningham cycled the streets of Manhattan, seeking both the figures who made fashion and those who consumed and put it proudly on display each day. “He who seeks beauty will find it,” said Cunningham, the humble hat maker–turned-photojournalist who single-handedly created the genre of street-fashion photography, presenting the images of regular people and models together in his New York Times photo column “like squares on a story quilt.” D’yans’ scintillating watercolors, depicting Bill in action on the street or his subjects who “looked like leopards in their leopard prints, …dudes in dots and spots,” perfectly match Cunningham’s unassuming edginess with their ragged splashes of brilliant color and deft smear technique that creates a three-dimensional illusion of motion. Seasoning her spare text just so with Cunningham’s own voice (sourced in notes), Blumenthal effectively communicates her admiration for her subject.

Beautifully rendered and told, the book brings to life the work of a gifted 20th-century artist whose creative vision will always be in vogue.

(author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 4-12)