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Porcupine Stew

by Beverly Major

ISBN 0-688-01272-8 

1982 Published by Morrow Junior Books, New York

Awards

One of the awards given at the Biennial of Illustration, Brataslava, 1983.
In Czechoslovakia that year, an official postage stamp (see below) was created to commemorate each winner.

Winner of the American Book Award 1983 for Book Illustration: Original Art.

This award was presented by Louise Nevelson on April 28, 1983 in the Trustees Room, The New York Public Library

Transcript of acceptance speech by Erick Ingraham at the award ceremony:
 "I am thrilled and honored to receive this award which gives national recognition to my first,  full-color children's book. I'd like to thank the author, Beverly Major, for creating such a marvelous dream setting, and Connie Epstein for introducing the original concept of Porcupine Stew to me. I'd also like to thank Elizabeth Crawford, who always knew what I needed to hear when the project seemed endless. Last but not least, I'd like to thank Cynthia Basil for diligently putting the pieces of the puzzle together and for seeing the long project through to the end. Porcupine Stew took over one hundred days of meticulous painting with an airbrush and fine brush. The memory of all that work will probably continue to fade away, however, this will be a day I'll never forget. Thank you for the thrill, the honor and the memory."

Parents' Choice Award Book Original paintings from the book are hanging in Chihiro Iwasaki,the Art Museum of Picture Books
Address: 4-7-2 Shimoshakujii Nerima-ku Tokyo, Japan 177

Synopsis

Filled with witty wordplay and robust characterizations that recall Lewis Carroll, this original fantasy stakes out an entirely new wonderland of its own. On a silver-soft summer evening, when the twilight is magic, Thomas finds a young porcupine in his grandfather's hayfield. Thomas doesn't quite understand Grandfather's remarks about porcupines making stew, throwing quills, and decorating dogs, but that night, accompanied by his cat True Blue, he attends the Perpetuannual Porcupine Parade & Picnic. He sees Sir Rex the St. Bernard decorated for services to porcpines and witnesses the record-breaking quill throwing feats of champion porcupines.And best of all, he again meets up with his young friend from the hayfield and savors porcupine stew. All dreams end, but Thomas knows he will remember this one forever, as must anyone who reads this spellbinding book. Lyrical prose with the cadence of poetry and Erick Ingraham's luminous full-color paintings cast an enchantment that lures one deeper and deeper into the magical world they create.

Reviews

Parent's Choice 1982 "Call it super realism, magic realism, and whatever you like­ this is the style that characterizes Erick Ingraham's vividly executed illustrations for this book. It is a style that is anchored in the tradition of realistic observation, but is not bound to the naturalistic materials of realism, the magic realist moves easily between the world of fantasy, and this is something that Ingraham accomplishes with the requisite gift for invention and improvisation. If anything, the dream sequences­ especially those depicting the assembly of animals­ are even more persuasive and elaborate than those devoted to the daylight world of reality. The result contains a good deal of gentle and beguiling poetry"-- Hilton Kramer-Judge of the 1982 Parents' Choice Awards in Children's Book Illustration 

Publisher's Weekly
"In paintings of astonishing beauty, Ingraham employs subtle shades to harmonize with the dream quality in Major's fantasy, the impact of the illustrations strengthened by the true-to-life pictures of the boy Thomas and the animals in his magic adventure. Playful punning sparks the author's narrative as Thomas, with his cat True Blue, slips out one evening to a ticket booth with a sign: "Follow The Dream:Admission: A Lot." A Lot is all the boy has, his precious silver whistle that True prompts him to pay as they follow The Dream, a grandfather Porcupine, to the gala Perpetuannual Porcupine Parade & Picnic. Among the reassuring news Thomas gets is that porcupine stew is not connected with his friends, who include the shy champion at quill throwing. This is a gentle and beautiful book for readers of all ages."

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