Sunday, February 28, 2010

1st March

Wow, I've been doing this for a whole month. I have managed to do an entry every day and only eleven months to go! I do not have a birthday listed for today, but as there are so many for tomorrow and one of them is Dr Seuss, I thought I would do the other two today.

Firstly, Leo Dillon who is half of the the wonderful Leo and Diane Dillon collaboration. Both these illustrators were born in 1933, just thirteen days apart, Leo on the 2nd and Diane on the 13th March. They met while studying art and have worked together since. They illustrated Verna Aardema's Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears which would definitely be on my top-ten list of picture books. In fact in 1976 they won the Caldecott Medal for their illustrations and in doing so, Leo became the first African-American artist to win the Caldecott. They followed this award up, by winning it again the next year with Margaret Musgrove's Ashanti to Zulu.

Secondly, Patrick John (P.J.) Lynch, the Irish illustrator was born on the 2nd March, 1962. He too, has won a prestigious picture book prize, the Kate Greenaway Medal twice. Like the Dillon's first winning book, his The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey would be on my list of favourites. A Christmas would not pass without me reading it to a class or small group of children. The story is heartwarming and the warming of the pictures match the theme beautifully. His second medal was for When Jessie Came Across the Sea written by Amy Hest. He has also illustrated many fairytales and his style of illustration works well for these. See his Oscar Wilde collection and his Snow Queen.

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