Small and square, The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life (Beach Lane Books, 2014) by Lois Ehlert is actually bursting with images and inspiration drawn from the picture book maker's long career. It's unmistakably Ehlert, down to the round typeface of the main text (I think it's Century Schoolbook) and the handwritten notes (in place of the sans serif labels used in most of her books) adding another level of detail. Maybe a little messier, though, since The Scraps Book is all about process (and, Ehlert tells us, "I'm messy when I work"). In words and images, she shares where her book ideas come from, how to make a storyboard, the art technique of collage (often using recycled or natural materials), a recipe for bird treats...The Scraps Book is stuffed full of interesting things to inspire young (and not-so-young) readers, writers, and artists, right where they are.
Instead of a bibliography, there's a double-page spread of Ehlert's book covers at the end. I was surprised at how many of them we had read and remembered: Planting a Rainbow, Eating the Alphabet (the IJKL page was our favorite, followed closely by the letter Pp, which got two pages), Waiting for Wings, and Feathers for Lunch (a good choice to read alongside The Scraps Book, which includes a series of spreads showing how Feathers for Lunch went from idea to finished book).