Saturday, September 18, 2010

20th September John Prater (1947) Barbara Firth (1928 - 2013)

John Prater and Barbara Firth are British illustrators of children's books. Between them they have produced a large number of favourite books with endearing animal characters, in particular bears.

John Prater both writes and illustrates. He has written many books with mischievous children as characters. He is also a master at storytelling with minimal text. He says, "my own daughters and their mischievous ways were the source of my early books...When they grew bigger I began sifting through my own childhood experiences. "He has also illustrated many of Vivian French's picture books.

Barbara Firth is best known as the illustrator of the award-winning, Martin Waddell written series of picture books about Little Bear, which began with Can't You Sleep Little Bear. In fact many of her books were written by Martin Waddell and many feature bears. She says, "I have always been biased toward illustrating natural history, so it was a joy to be able to draw pages and pages of bears." She spent many hours at a zoo, watching and recording the movements of bears.

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