Written and illustrated by Gennady Spirin
This sweet story is based on when back in Moscow, Gennady’s own young son brought home a crow with a broken wing. When taken to the Veterinary who suggested having it put down, as it would never fly again, llya, his son, steadfastly refused. In Gennady’s beautiful soft watercolours we follow Llya’s love and devotion to the crow, and Martha , the crows’ time with the family as she heals, with clear easy to read text, revealing this warm story. Gennardy dedicated this book to his son, showing that love, devotion and patience prevails. Aged for 4 and up.
Gennady was born in a small town called Orekhove-Zuyevo just out of Moscow and his artistic talent was discovered at a young age, after graduating from a number of Art Institutes in Russia he moved to New Jersey, New York, where he now lives with his family. Gennady an illustrator has produced many beautiful works of art that have decorated many books, have won him many awards, and are now found in collections today including those of the Museum of Art, Milan, Italy, Cotsen Collection of Children’s Art at the Firestone Library of Princeton University, the Museum of the Franklin Mint and others.
One incredible story book he illustrated was that of Simeon’s Gift written by the renowned mother and daughter team Julie Andrews and Emma Walton-Hamilton, again he captures the Renaissance of the time. When I saw this book “Martha” I just had to read it, knowing the connection with Gennady, Julie and Emma and also because of his fine soft artwork. While the cover for this particular book, was not for me so enticing, the paintings within are gloriously rich and detailed as one would expect. A New York times quote in 1998 reads “….Even at first glance, viewers intuitively know that this is one of the masters of our time…Spirin is like a magician, using his paint brush as a wand.”
I love the fact that this is a true story – what a heartwarming tale for children to read – even a crow deserves our care! Next time I am in Milan I shall be sure to visit the Museum of Art to see more of his artwork.
Glad you liked it Joanna, I to loved that it is a true story. Thought you might want to pop in to Milan, would be wonderful to see his paintings up close.
Reminds me of the many birds I tried to save as a child, only to hold burial ceremonies later. Sounds like a chaming book for children because it is so heartfelt. I do love Gennady Spirin’s illustrations, especially the ones in Simeon’s Gift. They were so true to the period. And, thanks for sharing more information about him as an artist. I’m sure I would like this book. Again, a great choice!
Aww, sorry to hear your birds never made it, I am sure you did you best Pat Aren’t Gennady’s illustrations beautiful, glad you enjoyed them.
Lovely to learn more about Gennady Spirin. Thank you!
He’s quite an illustrator. Your welcome!