Humor, Simplicity, and Experimentation in the Picture Books of Jon Agee


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Abstract

In his twenty-year tenure as a picture book artist, Jon Agee has produced a number of books that greatly vary in appearance. However, while his artistic style changes from book to book, some things remain the same. Readers who pick up any Agee book can expect that it will contain interesting artwork, well worth a close inspection. They can also safely bet that it will be inventive, experimental, and funny. An examination of Agee's picture books Ellsworth, Ludlow Laughs, The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau, Dmitri the Astronaut, and Milo's Hat Trick illuminates Agee's evolution as an artist while demonstrating his metafictive experimentation with artistic conventions, his play with concepts of reality and impossibility, and his abundant talent for simplicity, funniness, and beauty.

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