Chronicle Kids: The Inimitable Taro Gomi
If you’ve been in a bookstore lately, you may have noticed a growing section in children’s books: doodling and drawing. In the last couple years there has been an absolute boom of these books. The reason?
Taro Gomi. When Taro Gomi first published Scribbles, the other drawing books available were largely cheap, didactic, and poorly designed. Taro Gomi’s 300+ page, $19.99 doodling book is a wonder of imaginative play and elegant, accessible art. They’ve been wildly successful.
Now there are many books that are rushing to imitate Taro Gomi, but I haven’t seen one book yet that appeals as easily and widely to so many people: Taro Gomi is beloved by children and adults, people who care about design and people who don’t, people who think of themselves as artists and people who aren’t sure they’re holding their pencil the right way.
There’s really no imitating him. Everything he does has a simplicity that draws readers in, and you don’t realize how subtly layered his work is until you realize you’ve spent more than twice as much time with his books as any of the others your kid likes.
So Chronicle was absolutely thrilled to have him fly over from Japan to visit our offices this month. THRILLED. We sat with him for hours, talking books, children’s book philosophy, and new formats. We did some brainstorming, which was fascinating.
Brainstorming is one of the things we love to do most at Chronicle, so getting the chance to brainstorm with someone as conceptual and creative as Taro Gomi was a rare treat. Practically the whole design floor turned out for him.
We’ll be sending him blank printer’s mock-ups of several new formats over the coming months so that he can see what unique spin he’ll give them. It’s awfully exciting! I can’t wait to see them finished and out in the world.
This is difficult for you, blog readers, because the new formats won’t be ready for a year or two. We’ll be working hard to finish them as soon as possible. But if you need a taste of Taro Gomi now, pick up one of the fab books we have out already. Look for the big, thick books that you can’t put down… and accept no substitutes!
WIN A FRAMED, AUTOGRAPHED TARO GOMI PRINT!
Write a comment by Friday, February 12th and tell us why you love Taro Gomi, or your favorite Taro Gomi book, and we’ll choose one winner to receive this adorable, limited-edition print signed by the master himself! Good luck!
Associate Editor, Children’s
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