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Ann Jonas, gifted llustrator, at Brooklyn Central Library

The Brooklyn Central Library, a limitless resource in the heart of Brooklyn, is the site of the Ann Jonas exhibit.
The Brooklyn Central Library, a limitless resource in the heart of Brooklyn, is the site of the Ann Jonas exhibit.
Beth Ellor

Brooklyn Central Library Exhibits: to Sept 21st.

The Crews Family (Donald, Nina and Amy) curated a tribute to Ann Jonas-Crews
Beth Ellor

There is a lovely current exhibit at the palatial Brooklyn Central Library, until September 21st. for the link to the exhibition website.

Going to the Brooklyn Central Library is quite an experience for children, either during the vacation or year-round, and there were dozens of them there on a busy Tuesday! There is still time left to catch this show as well as several other special exhibits to be found on the website.

The display is rather tucked away, in the Youth Wing, to the left of the vast main entrance. The one disadvantage to it is that the display cases are at the top of the built-in wooden bookshelves, and even a medium sized adult has to look upwards for a decent view. The reflection from the opposite windows also appears in the glass case doors, noticeable in my photos!

That said, take a look at the accompanying slide show, which gives a sense of her accomplishments, the extraordinary detail and delicacy of her illustrations, and also some insight into creative techniques used to obtain particular effects, such as layering acetate sheets, (in “Splash!”)or attaching transparent overlays, (In “Color Dance”). Two of the books displayed use complex fold-outs or inserts for exciting effects, namely “The 13th Clue” and “Aardvarks Disembark!”

The show was organized for the Library by the Crews family, as Ann Jonas was also Ann Crews, the wife of famed children’s author and illustrator Donald Crews, and partner in their design company. She passed away on Sept. 29th 2013 in Rhinebeck NY.

What a remarkable creative duo! Jonas excels in observation, and there is such intimacy in her illustrations for young children, such as “Where Can It Be?” about a lost toy, or the wonderful, celebratory “Color Dance”. The non-fiction nature works are breathtaking. All of these books deserve a place in a young child’s library, and make absorbing read-alouds for the teacher – and the sub!