A Beautiful Tribute, September 3, 2005
I was thrilled to find Ann Stalcup's loving and scholarly tribute to Leo Politi. Superbly researched, filled with personal anecdotes, little known photos, and wonderful reproductions of Politi's vast body of work, the book explores the brilliant book creator's life and artistry.
As a child growing up in Los Angeles, Politi's books brought wonder, joy and a respect for my city --and other places as well -- to my childhood. I remember pouring through the illustrations for hours, and wondering about the artist behind the beautiful pictures and gentle stories, the dramatic compositions and exquisite, singing colors. Stalcup's book has helped provide an answer. Like his art, Politi the man was playful and kind, quirky and intelligent, and he endowed everything he created with a soul. His books are a true gift to children.
It seems tragic that only one or two of Polit's masterpieces are still in print. Surely our children deserve to know this man who truly loved them, just as Politi's books deserve a place in our bookstores, libraries, schools and homes. I hope that Ann Stalcup's book will help restore Politi's books to our world. We need his message of tenderness and dedication, beauty and joy more than ever. He was truly an angel to children.