PPBF: The Elements of Style, illustrated


Author: William Strunk Jr., E.B. Whiite
Illustrator: Maira Kalman

The Penguin Press, 2005
Opening: hello. (Yes, you read right. The inside cover actually and simply greets the reader. I do not consider this a trifle. It sets the mood for what is to come.)
Summary: (Excerpt from my library catalog) An enhanced edition of the classic writing manual features humorous art by a popular children’s book illustrator and New Yorker cover artist, in a volume that provides visual and whimsical embellishments to the original instructive text.


Why I Like This Book: Given, it’s a text I have read numerous times, but I feel lucky to have finally noticed and been interested enough in how anyone would tackle illustrating a book on a book of do’s and don’ts, that I would not have considered illustratable, let alone Maira Kalman.  Why would anyone bother? Well, I am grateful Maira Kalman did! I picked it up form the hold shelf (as you see above, no sleeve), thinking, yeah, right, I wanted to see this, and left it on the side table for days. When I’d read through my stack of picture books, and wasn’t excited enough about any to review it as a Perfect Picture Book, I picked it up – and found it! Perfect! I was three pages in before I slammed the cover in excitement! Yes, because I immediately thought this is going to be so great that I wanted to order my own copy and experience it the first time in full, knowing it is mine to keep.

Related posts:

Maira Kalman on Walking as a Creative Device and the Difference Between Thinking and Feeling

Maira Kalman’s Dream Place

‘Elements of Style’ Goes Beyond Words