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Four Seasons, The

Four Seasons, The
Mary Azarian
Ever since (and well before) Godine published her first book, A Farmer's Alphabet in 1981, Mary Azarian has been hard at work cutting basswood in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Last year she was awarded what she richly deserves: the Caldecott Medal. This retrospective volume is not intended to illustrate particular story but to ranged (as seems logical to us) according to the seasons she celebrates in her art. In all, we have reproduced fifty of her hand-colored woodcuts in full color and an equal number in black and white. The book is large format because that is the way she works and that's what does her work justice. The text, written by her friend Lillias Hart, discusses not only her work but also what life is like in the rigorous reaches of Northern Vermont.

It would be unfortunate if Mary's achievement were relegated to the realm of "illustration." She is not an illustrator but an artist who works in wood, in a technique that has been all but forgotten by modern practitioners. She does it as well as anyone of her generation, and this ambitious, oversize book will show the full amplitude and genius of her work.

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