Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tell Me A Story

How do I describe this book, Tell Me a Story: Stories From a Childhood in Old New York by author and artist Bea Gold?  More aptly, how can I do this book justice? It's a striking collection of thirty-six one-page stories accompanied by vividly-colored, impressionistic paintings that illustrate her writing. The paintings are large enough to really see, and the stories are many things--amusing, surprising, touching, believable--but never boring or dull. This lively book is a blend of dazzling paintings and stories, a picture book to savor alone in free moments, or to read out loud, story by story, with a child. The stories are based on the author's memories as the only child of Jewish immigrants growing up in "old" New York,  Brooklyn, in the 1930s and 1940s.


The Seashore

The War at Home
Click on photos to enlarge


I grew up in NY, and although I'm not Jewish, I had many Jewish childhood friends (some of whom I'm still in contact with), so I slipped into this book with ease.  I know many of the places mentioned in the book, and have even taken classes at the Art Students League in NY,  like Bea Gold.  (Unfortunately, I've also had the same experience the author and her friend had on the subway more than once, as mentioned in her story, The First Stop.)  There was a lot in this book that I could relate to and understand. The paintings in the book, along with the stories, were exhibited in art shows in Los Angeles, CA (where the author lives),  in 2008 and 2009.  (I'd love to see her art in person.) This is a sumptuous graphic memoir, a coffee table book of the highest caliber, even if you're not familiar with Jewish customs or NY.  It's just beautiful!

Special thanks to Bea Gold and Bostick Communications for sending me this book.

19 comments:

  1. This sounds very interesting...one of my classes and I are reading The Book Thief right now and we've been talking about Jewish communities before and after WWII both in the U.S. and abroad...might be interesting to pull these paintings in somehow...very cool :)

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful idea, Peppermint!

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  2. This does sound like a beautiful book, and one that I would love to get a look at. I think your wonderful review does it considerable justice :)

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  3. Sounds wonderful. I took a few classes at ASL when I was growing up in NYC. I'm eager to see this book for myself. No doubt, it will resonate for me as well.

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    1. Satia, I didn't know you were from NY, too!

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  4. You find some of the most interesting books.

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  5. Sounds like a winner, and I am so glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

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  6. This sounds like a delightful book, I like those illustrations. You did great with the review Suko :)

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  7. Sounds like a winner, not a fan of short stories as you know, if nothing else, I'm sure I'd enjoy those drawings.

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  8. This sounds amazing! I love the vivid colors of the artwork.

    Btw, The Girl would be happy to review a book on your blog at some point. She hasn't been reading a lot lately, but we'll get back to you on that. :)

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    1. Anna, let's keep this in mind for the future. The Girl is becoming a wonderful writer/reviewer, like her mom!

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  9. Interesting book with all those illustrations! I'd read it as a cultural experience, not being from NY!

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  10. This looks like a good book to 'gift'.
    Thanks for the idea.

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  11. This looks like a great book. I love how vivid the illustrations are.

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  12. It seems to be a wonderful book ! I like a lot the pictures and your post !

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  13. I love the idea of a book combining paintings and writing.

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