In her book Gobble, Gobble, a young girl discovers wild turkeys, and the reader is taken through a year of enchantment with these distinctly American birds. “The whole idea behind what I do is to spark a sense of wonder and curiosity in kids about nature. After all, they will be the careful stewards of the earth, and we have an obligation to make sure that it happens.”
Cathryn’s illustrations for Gobble, Gobble are a combination of vibrant collage and bold blockprint. “I’ve always wanted to do a book with a printmaking technique, and this was my opportunity,” she says. She was excited about the prospect of making something visually interesting and different.
“But what I didn’t realize was that I was actually making two books, one in collage and one in blockprint. It was quite a learning curve. The first half of the book took me eight months! But finally I got it, and the second half took me eight weeks. It really required some brain stretching, because the blockprinting technique is all in reverse. It’s a relief printing technique, so only what is not cut away gets the ink.” Fortunately, modern materials make it easier to carve out what was not to be seen in the finished illustration. A synthetic artist’s material is much easier to cut than wood!
Cathryn lives on a small pond in Maine where she enjoys watching wildlife from her treehouse. She’s the author illustrator of over two dozen books for children. Cathryn often visits schools, nature centers, and libraries. Schedule a visit, or find out more about her art and books, at her website: cathrynfalwell.com.