Sunday, July 11, 2010

13th July Marcia Brown (1918) Anna Grossnickle Hines (1946) Kim Gamble (1952) Anita Jeram (1965)

Well if the 11th was a big author day, this is a big illustrator day! Marcia Brown wrote and illustrated many stories, but the memorable ones are retellings of traditional stories and it is her illustrations that therefore won awards. She won the Caldecott Medal three times and was awarded the Honor Medal six times. This is truly amazing! Her books look old fashioned to my children, but whenever we read and discuss one they often comment something like, 'but that was good'. In the library we have the three winners, Cinderella; Once a Mouse, a lovely story about fairness from Ancient India with wood block illustrations and Shadow, a prose-poem translated from French that is set in Africa. As well we have her traditional version of Stone Soup which always serves as a good comparison to the modern versions such as that by Jon J. Muth and Tony Bonning.

Anna Grossnickle Hines, also American is best known for her beautiful 'quilted' illustrations, even though she has her name on numerous other things, even Curious George. Her quilts are sumptuous and spectacular and such a novel way to make illustrations. See her two poetry anthologies Winter Lights and Pieces. Her quilts can be seen on her website.

Thirdly, Australian Kim Gamble, who in Australia needs no introduction, as his work in the Tashi and Minton series of books is loved by every Australian child. Of course he has done other books, but these books are a good introduction. He is so generous with his artwork, leaving pieces at every school he seems to visit. He draws while the children watch and contribute ideas. Every day at work I get to look at three amazing Kim Gamble artworks on the library walls. How lucky am I?

And lastly, English illustrator, Anita Jeram, famous for Guess How Much I Love You and the other Little Nutbrown Hare books written by Sam McBratney, is also popular in the library for her illustrations of Sam, the little brown bear in Amy Hest's series of books about him. However, my favourite is Anita's book Contrary Mary. The mice in this title really make me smile and remind me of the 'joys of motherhood'.

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