NOVEMBER 22, 2008
A Celebration of Leo Politi




Last Wednesday evening, about 50 people attended a talk at the Library by author Ann Stalcup, on the subject of her book, "Leo Politi: Artist of the Angels". She spoke of Mr. Politiís life and his work as an award winning childrenís author-illustrator and artist. The event was part of a statewide celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mr. Politiís birth.

Monterey has a special connection with Leo Politi, because in 1986, the Library commissioned the author-illustrator to create a mural for the childrenís Picture Book Room. When the mural was unveiled, Leo came to the Library for the special event. He was greeted by dozens of admirers, almost all adults, carrying their beloved copies of his books in hopes that he would autograph them. After the formalities of the day were over, his fans lined up while Leo patiently "signed" each and every copy. I had to put the word "signed" in quotation marks, because a Leo Politi autograph was not just a scribbled name, it was a work of art in itself! He drew lovely sketches and wrote warm sentiments in each book.

Last Wednesday was a wonderful evening that brought back fond memories of Leo Politi. After Ms. Stalcupís presentation, people stayed and stayed to share their stories of Leo and his work, and to visit the beautiful mural in the Picture Book room. By the end of the evening, every one of Leo Politiís books that were available had been checked out.

One of my favorite Leo Politi books is A Boat for Peppe, which is set in Monterey and has beautiful illustrations of Montereyís traditions, its fishing boats, and historic adobes. Do you have a favorite Leo Politi book?