Book Bindings can be beautiful. One of the greatest finds during the Library of Congress reception was the sculptured bindings of Paul Bonet. I am so greatful for the chief of the rare book division helping me to find a way to stand far enough back to snap a quick photo of this binding, yet be close enough that you could see some of the details. Sometimes we discover things that change us. I love books. I love the words. I love the experience. I love the relationship you develop with a story. I love the feel of a good book. I love illuminated letters. I love borders. I love contemplating how the text and illustrations are so integrated. Now, I love a beautiful binding. I hope we can still provide these treasures to our students so they can share our love.
You can learn so much from the internet when you develop a new love. The Library of Congress records were so stale compared to the beauty of this work. V & A publications features Paul Bonet’s work in their title The Art of the Book: From Medieval Manuscript to Graphic Novel. I needed to gather all my sources to try to convey a sense of the power of bindings.
I am still looking because we don’t have enough out there. Where are the Robert Sabuda’s of book binding for children. Why do I write about this on SLJ? Because my students love Inkheart featuring a book binder! Did you know that Inkdeath is supposed to be released in 2008?
In the meantime if you find a publisher who is truly doing creative artistic bindings for children’s books, please comment here and let us know.