Jillian Tamaki wanted to enchant young viewers with a lasting magic.
“I was aiming to make something fun to look at over and over,” says the Caldecott and Printz award-winning cartoonist, “since it’s going to be up for a whole year.”
Tamaki is referring to her beguiling new original poster — revealed here for the first time — for the annual Children’s Book Week, which begins April 30 as the event nears the century mark.
The poster, featuring the theme “One World, Many Stories,” shows a wild array of animals that seem to have voracious appetites for reading.
“Posters really become part of the environment in a school or library,” Tamaki tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs of her ink drawing that she colored in Photoshop. “The concept isn’t too deep: Reading all over the world — without being too ‘It’s a Small World.’ ”
The Canadian-born Tamaki is the author of the all-ages book “They Say Blue” and the comic “SuperMutant Magic Academy,” as well as the graphic novels “Skim” and “This One Summer.” She noted that one of her favorite kids’ books is “The Snow Cat,” by the late Dayal Kaur Khalsa, and she grew up also visually inspired by Archie comics.
Children’s Book Week is a national literacy initiative — including school, library and bookstore outreach — that was launched in 1919. For nearly a decade it has been guided by Every Child a Reader, the charitable arm of the Children’s Book Council.
Some of the many other artists participating in this year’s event include Sophie Blackall, Leo Espinosa, Vashti Harrison, Felicita Sala and Don Tate.