Thursday, July 7, 2011

M.B. Goffstein's YA novels

M.B. Goffstein is a picture book author and illustrator famous for her simple and elegant black and white linework used to tell stories. This prolific creator averaged about one picture book a year throughout the 1970's, winning several awards for these books along the way. Her most well known picture book is Goldie the Dollmaker (1969) which was reprinted several times. The book's theme advocates a dedication to art and a simple life. Many of Goffstein's books are about artists and based on her own experiences. Goffstein also taught children's book illustration, beginning in 1985, at The Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Unknown to most fans of her work, Goffstein also had two young adult novels published. The first, The Underside of the Leaf (1972), describes a 12-year old's crush on her neighbor's boy friend. When she meets him several years later in New York City, her dreams are brought down to reality when he is not quite as special as she had remembered him to be. This simple story of first love is both sad and bittersweet as the reader becomes more aware of the character's mistakes than she is.

The second, Daisy Summerfield's Style (1975) is about a teenager who switches suitcases with a girl she meets on a train in New York City. Daisy has the desire to take on this girl's persona as an artist. Unfortunately, in order to find herself and her independence, Daisy must make several blunders first. After squandering money, and trying to create an artistic air around her, she comes to learn that she will not be an artist by association but instead by skill.Both of these slim books are interesting, somewhat detached views with a narrator who lets us into the lives and awkward mistakes of two young girls coming-of-age.

More information about this author can be found on her website.

1 comment:

  1. She has a sweet website, I screen captured some of her cartoons. I like the one that says "The artist is God, but small" (along those lines).