Monday, March 17, 2014

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert

I forgot how much I LOVE Lois Ehlert. Well, I didn't actually forget, but I haven't dug into her work for a few years. A decade ago, when I taught Kindergarten, Lois Ehlert influenced everything I did. We loved all of her books and we LOVED a video about her life and her art. The video shared her process and photos of the table she had in her house when she was a child--the table filled with scraps and treasures. We set up our own table in our classroom and it invited creativity!

This new book The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life reminded me of all of that and all of the reasons I love Lois Ehlert. Of course I love her for her books--her books are amazing and they make me happy. But I also love her for the way she makes art and creativity so exciting for children. She is a mentor for this kind of a life in all that she does.

In The Scraps Book, Lois Ehlert shares her life as an artist. She shares it in a simple, yet profound way. She includes images from her book and photos from her childhood.  She shares her process and the ways she gets ideas.  She invites readers to live the life of an artist.  And she makes it seem possible.

For me, this book seems like a perfect beginning of the year book--one that helps launch an amazing writing workshop.  But it is also the perfect book to share anytime of the year. This week, I'll be sharing it with 2 of my students who are working on nonfiction pieces about art and drawing.  I am sure it will make its way around the room quickly.

Now, I need to go find the rest of my Lois Ehlert books again!

The Hornbook just featured Five Questions for Lois Ehlert--a great interview!


  1. Thanks for letting us know about this book Franki. We definitely have to read it.

    Tammy and Clare

  2. I just got it, Franki & have glanced through it, but now you've made me want to get to it soon. It is a beautiful book!


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