Michael Roberts | Hyperion Book | 1998
As a fan of cut paper it should be no surprise that I love revisiting The Jungle ABC by Vanity Fair’s style director Michael Roberts. There are lots of alphabet animal books but this is in the top three. At 10 x 13 inches and 64 pages, it’s a treasure not only to find each expression of the letter but also to explore the textural nuances of each page’s scene. Each illustration is a master’s course in composition, scale, light and shadow, and color. Robert’s style takes very simple ideas like the elephant for ‘E” and renders only the trunk eating delicate foliage leaving us to only imagine the remaining beast off the page. Or the textured giraffe’s torso with the strutting native running up it’s back. The life created by his hand-cut images is an inspiration to any illustrating storyteller. This is a magical cut, torn, and pasted tour of the rich tapestry and dance of the African jungle.