I lived for two years in Peru, where my husband Chris taught biology at a school in Lima, the capitol city. For two years, not one day passed for me without an interesting sight or person or event. Just buying a popsicle could turn into an adventure (partly because I had to do it in Spanish). Whenever we got a chance we would travel around Peru or Bolivia or Ecuador to visit the mountains, the desert, the Pacific coast or the rainforest. We traveled by bus and car and train and plane and boat and foot and llama (actually, llamas can’t carry grown-up people, but they carried our packs in the high mountains. Gracias, llamas!).
Traveling in South America you are guaranteed to meet all kinds of friendly and fascinating people. It’s the best part of being there! Of course I always had my sketchbook with me so I could write and draw what I learned along the way, including many stories about the fox, and one special story about Cuy (“Kwi”) the guinea pig.
What would the illustrations look like for a book about Cuy? I made dozens of pictures to find out! I tried scratchboard, colored pencil, watercolor and gouache (opaque watercolors). Finally I decided on rubber-cut prints and painted them with watercolors. To draw the mountains and the fields and the characters I had to pore over all the photos and sketches of our wonderful time in South America. It filled me with such longing I would dream at night of being there again.
You can find more teaching guides and other downloadable materials on my For Teachers page.
|Awards and Reviews for Love and Roast Chicken|
“(A) delightfully sly Peruvian folktale…Knutson's robust prints, characterized by heavy black lines and subdued colors, are remarkably effective in conveying expressions and humor.”
“An all-around, laugh-out-loud delight.”
“Lean nuggets of rollicking text read equally well before a group or by oneself, and Cuy’s sassy rejoinders make this Brer Rabbit analogue an engaging standout.”
“Knutson's boldly outlined, vibrant woodcut-and-watercolor artwork captures the mischievous nature of the guinea pig. Observant children will delight in the visual and cultural details and in the energy of these illustrations. A thoroughly enjoyable tale that deserves a place in most libraries.”
“An appealing tale of a trickster being tricked, this has solid child appeal.”
AWARDS AND HONORS
Automatically Yours - CATS Awards 2004
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