Like a message in a bottle, a “missed connection" classified (usually posted on a website) is an attempt however far-fetched, by one stranger to reach another on the strength of a remembered glance, smile, or blue hat. The anonymous messages are hopeful and hopeless, funny and sad. Ms. Blackall, award-winning illustrator of Ruby’s Wish and Big Red Lollipop, has turned some of the most evocative (or hilarious) of them into exquisite paintings.
Missed Connections is a collection of illustrated love stories. There’s “We Shared a Bear Suit.” “If Not for Your Noisy Tambourine.” “Hairy Bearded Swimmer.” Each is told in the shorthand of a “missed connection,” and then illustrated in Chinese ink and watercolor. The paintings are extraordinary: delicate yet full of feeling, each springing from one little detail of the post into a fully imagined world. Each brings the voyeuristic pleasure of watching love at first sight, and the pleasure of watching an artist discover a fresh new way to tell a story. And not all the connections are missed. Hidden in the book are three pieces that conjure up the magic of love found.
Sophie Blackall has illustrated over twenty books for children, including the Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning Ruby’s Wish, Meet Wild Boars, which won her a Founder’s
Award from the Society of Illustrators, the Ivy and Bean series, and more. Her editorial illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and many magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family and a stuffed armadillo.