Author: Dennis Haseley
Illustrator: Ed Young
Publisher: Roaring Brook
A wealthy man engages a great painter to create an image of the faithful horse that runs to him in 20 heartbeats. He waits for word that his painting is ready. Years slip by, and both man and horse grow old. Finally, livid, the man returns to demand the picture he commissioned so very long ago. And in 20 heartbeats, the artist puts brush to paper to produce a piece of genius. But “[t]he man did not look at the painting. All he could see were the years that had gone by.” There are many ways to read this story: as a treatise on the nature of art and the value of product versus process; as an allegory about faith and another Great Painter; as a reminder to look beyond the obvious. These messages may elude younger readers, but no one will miss the point of Young’s arresting limited-color collage work, in which dreams are veiled in a layered rice-paper mist, and texture, curve and line, along with the compelling and considered placement of pigment, guide the eye along the narrative path.
Dennis Haseley's simple story about the nature of art and the value of time is subtly amplified in stunning layered collages by Caldecott medalist Ed-Young.