At first glance, Of Lamb looks like a children’s tale swiped from your little sister’s bookshelf. But by the first page you’ll see it’s so much more than that. Initially inspired by David Cecil’s A Portrait of Charles Lamb, the book also takes cues from the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” so that the final product is a twisted re-telling that’s simultaneously familiar and new. Published by McSweeney’s, the literary magazine-turned-publishing house founded by Dave Eggers, this quirky illustrated story follows Mary and her adopted lamb as they deal with loss, love, and the pressures to fit into conventional society. These dark themes- showcased in poems by Matthea Harvey- are offset by collaborator Amy Jean Porter’s fantastical, colorful paintings. It’s easy to flip through the pages without much thought, but once you read through the artists’ process of compiling the work (literally layering the pictures, words and stories on top of each other), you’re left with something not so obvious. Everyone knows there’s more to a book than its cover. But in the case of the haunting Of Lamb, there’s so much more to its pages, as well. Buy it here.
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