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Where Fairy Tales Come to Life

Where Fairy Tales Come to Life
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One wall of the master bedroom is devoted to the framed paintings Jan makes for Joe each year, portraying their favorite experience from the year past. The couple loves to gather family and friends for dinner, so their latest home addition, two years ago, expanded the dining room (which can now seat 16) and upgraded the kitchen.
A loft above the living room serves as Jan’s library. An entire section of it is devoted to Norway, another to the Arctic, yet another to books on coins, which Jan delved into for her latest book, Hedgie Blasts Off. “Small nuances make things real for me and for the reader,” Jan says. “I try to include visual details in my drawings that readers may not even recognize or know about, but that nonetheless make them feel that they can walk right onto the page.”

Ultimately, their home reflects Jan’s ongoing explorations — of her world, of her past, of her art. “I tell both kids and adults to create the mental space for their art by listening to their muse, that quiet voice that points you in a certain direction, that says draw this, or write this, not that,” Jan explains. “For me, it’s the same as listening to my six-year-old self, who sits on my shoulder. The beauty of art is that it lets individuality flower — whatever you create is something only you could have made.”

“Jan’s business is to create,” adds Joe. “She gets endless ideas from a place I call ‘Jan-Land.’” If Jan’s enchanting books and home are any indication, Jan-Land is a magical place indeed.

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2 Responses to Where Fairy Tales Come to Life

  1. Barb Chaney April 4, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    I loved reading the article on Jan Brett (Where Fairy Tales Come From). Unfortunately, I didn’t subscribe at the time, so I don’t have that issue in hand. I did copy the article, but it doesn’t have the acccompanying photos.

    The photos are important to me. I love vintage children’s books for their illustrations and likewise I want photos of Jan, etc. Guess I’m a very visual lady!

    So I’m very disapointed that I can’t order a back issue. Thank you…….Barbara Chany

  2. Barb Chaney April 4, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    I’m VERY disapointed that I can’t order the March – April 2007 issue. I want the article, Where Fairy Tales Come to Life. I did print the article from this website, but I want the original article WITH PHOTOS. I didn’t subscribe to your magazine at that time.

    I collect vintage children’s books for their illustrations, and visual images are important to me.

    Thank you……Barbara

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