Wednesday, March 31, 2010

1st April Gina Wilson (1943) Paul Howard (1967)

Amazingly, this British author, Gina Wilson and British illustrator, Paul Howard have done a book together! Gina Wilson writes novels and the occasional picture book, of which we have three. Her best known picture book would be Ignis which I have written about before because of its illustrator, P.J.Lynch. Then there is Prowlpuss, illustrated by David Parkins which is a poor McTavity-the-mystery-cat-type poem, but because it is in a picture book, accessible to younger children and good for a descriptive language and vocabulary study. And the third, Grandma's Bears which is illustrated by Paul Howard, is a softer, warmer story about Nat and his sleepover at Grandma's.

Paul Howard's illustrations are memorable. They are warm, a little 'cherubic' and make animals look particularly friendly and approachable. To see this, look at any of the Jill Tomlinson animal stories that he has illustrated. Recently, while reading The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark and The Penguin Who Wanted to Know to classes we compared the illustrations from an older version of the books with Howard's new illustrations. The children decided that the new illustrations 'were mischievous and cheeky' much more in keeping with Tomlinson's humorous stories. So, hopefully Howard will continue to turn the rest of Tomlinson's stories into beautiful picture books.

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