What visual features help to
move the viewer's eye across the page?
The illustrator's use of:
Wiesner employs a narrow spectrum, emphasizing various shades of blue with accents
of green and yellow. This helps to give the illustrations in this book unity,
as well as helping the eye to flow easily across the illustration's many details.
At first glance one is drawn into the blue of night, eager to see the story progress.
It is only upon closer inspection that we must take heed of the numerous separate
events occuring within this lush two-page viewscape.
Drapery is a common, traditional motif appearing in art of all kinds to provide
motion and visual interest. Drapery does so naturally by undulating in sudden
shifts from light to dark to light. In this spread, the repetition of drapery
(see highlight above) helps draw the viewer along the diagonal across the illustration
from left to right. As we follow the ripples of the cape, the breeze in the curtains,
and the line of the doilies hanging off the mantlepiece, we also follow the storyline
as it progresses across the two pages.
Shape is an important facet of this illustration in a few respects. First, and
most obvious, are the bold rectangular insets discussed
below. Second, are the bulbous rounds and rough ovoids of the frogs and their
lillypads. These repeat again and again throughout this scene and the entire book.
Their comfortable shapes provide continuity and familiarity as one progresses
through the story. Finally, are the curved pickets of the fence that stream across
both pages of this spread. The picket fence provides a uniform line for the eye
to follow. It helps carry the story through this very transisitional scene from
its preceding to its succeeding pages. It also gives the viewer the distinct feeling
that s/he is peering over the edge of the fence, nearby but apart, watching these
incredible events unfold.
Insets, in groups of three, are employed throughout this book. They appear in
two general configurations: horizontal and vertical. The insets on these pages
are vertical and, similar to the other vertical, appear superimposed upon a background
illustration. Each has a narrow whitish border to help keep it from blending totally
with the background scene. The illustrator seems to have chosen to draw the insets
in groups of three since an uneven number provides greater visual interest. The
use of a single inset on the first page vs. two on the second makes the first
page "lighter" on the eye. The allows the reader to rest and absorb the story
up until this point. The second page is thus "heavier" almost propelling the reader
headlong into the excitement that is to follow. The insets also aid the illustrator
in his use of photorealism.