Tracy Gallup's latest book is a wonderful pastiche of surreal art and words, taking the reader on an inward journey -into an exploration of the heart. Reminiscent of the quiet yet penetrating works of Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, Cooper Edens and M.B. Goffstein, Gallup's clear and precise language fits snugly inside this simple and poetic visual presentation. The soft and magical artwork is also contemplative - allowing the viewers imagination to fill in the blanks and make their own connections. The book is a journey of questions and puzzles, bending the rules and genres of what a book can be and how it functions. A wonderful small and smart gift to treasure for all ages.
"Each of us is born into the world with questions and we continue through life asking them, often seeking answers. Ann Arbor artist and author Tracy Gallup is a gifted talent whose books often blur the lines between children and adult audiences. "A Roomful of Questions" is that kind of book, where there is something for anyone who takes the time to turn the pages and ponder. (Mackinac Island Press, $12.95, all ages)
The book begins with a provocative quote by Rainer Maria Rilke that inspires readers to " . . . love the questions themselves like locked rooms . . . . " The format is like opening the door to a new room where a question is posed on one side of the double-page spread, matched with an imaginative, intricate illustration created in India ink. The "poem paintings" beg for reflection.
"Who plants the seeds in the garden of thought? Is it the journey or the destination that matters? Where is the me I was? Is anything always? Is magic in every one of us? These are some of the deep questions the book asks. As a teacher, I can only imagine the fantastic questions and drawings children would create of their own.
Last year Gallup's "A Crazy Little Series" took readers by surprise with charming, whimsical stories and characters. Now, again she gets readers observing, wondering, and smiling." -- Grand Rapids News
Tracy Gallup works in both two and three dimensions creating doll-like figures and paintings which come to life in her stories. She wrote and illustrated Stone Crazy and Shell Crazy published by Mackinac Island Press in 2007. The next two books in A Crazy Little Series, Tree Crazy and Snow Crazy, will follow in the fall of 2007. She wrote and illustrated King Cat published by Mackinac Island Press in 2006. In 1997 Tracy illustrated a book of poetry titled Beastly Banquet, written by Peggy Munsterberg and published by Dial Books for Young Readers.