First edition of The Sign Painter by Allen Say. A sign painter and young new employee receive a curious commission to paint a series of billboards across the desert, creating tension between the young artist's idealism and practical reality.
Written and illustrated by Allen Say. 2000, first edition, first printing. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston. Walter Lorraine Books.
Allen Say (1937 - ) is a Caldecott Award-winning children's book author and artist admired for his quiet but powerful story-telling and poignant artwork.
A young man steps off a train into a dusty town with only a backpack and his talent and finds a job as a sign painter. His employer recognizes his talent and idealism but encourages the practical reality of doing the job they're asked to do. Like the one that drives up and hands them a curious commission: paint a series of billboards across the desert with a picture of a blonde woman and one word, ArrowStar. The billboards lead them to an immense roller coaster and a city, both built on top of isolated mesas. The visionary developer of the project represents the conflict between artistic vision and practical reality. Ultimately, the young artist chooses to follow his own vision.
The Los Angeles Times: An Exile Finds a Home in Art for Kids
Other books by Allen Say:
The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice
Grandfather's Journey - Caldecott Award, first edition
Condition*: Near Fine/Fine. The previous child owner wrote his last name on the front endpaper, and there's a very faint finger mark on the front and back of the cloth coverboards.
*Based on guidelines of the Independent Online Booksellers' Association.
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