This project pulled me in much deeper than I expected it to. I wasn’t anticipating quite the level and depth of evaluation it would require and inspire. I stumbled upon John Parra’s books while shelving at the library and immediately fell in love with his style. I am from New Mexico, and I appreciate bilingual books that focus on Latino or Hispanic culture. I was delighted to find that he has illustrated so many, considering his first one was less than a decade ago.
Also because I’m from New Mexico, I appreciate books about Native or American Indian culture. I had of course read Paul Goble before, but never sat down with a stack of his titles. I am aware of the discussions of the ways in which he is potentially problematic, but I have to say, I find his illustrations to be absolutely stunning. The meticulous detail, the rich but delicate color, and the geometrical designs are very appealing to my aesthetic sensibilities.
After exploring and comparing the two, I am even more appreciative of just how different two illustrators can be. They both draw from specific cultural traditions, but two very different traditions. Ultimately, I am struck by their respective uses of rich color, composition, and culturally-imbued style. They are both consistent, creative, and very talented, and I cannot wait to read the rest of their books.