Thursday, October 7, 2010

10th October Helen Nicoll (1937) James Marshall (1942 - 1992) Nancy Carlson (1953) Wendy Harmer (1955)

10/10/2010 meant to be a lucky day! So these authors and illustrators should have a good day.

Helen Nicoll is the writing half of the Meg and Mog books. Helen was a television producer with the BBC for many years. It was here, as a producer of the children's educational series Watch, that she first met Jan Pienkowski. After working together for four years, they decided it was time to preserve their creativity in book form for future generations of children to enjoy. Together they have created two characters that young children love. The bright colours, simple shapes and black outlines with minimal text seem to work so well. My only beef, why no punctuation? Still for second grade they make a good editing/proofreading activity.

James Marshall was an American author/illustrator who was often praised for his comic timing. He is responsible for the series of books about two hippos, George and Martha, another series about Fox and he illustrated the Miss Nelson books as well. A large number of fairytales were also retold and illustrated by him. The copies in my library of these make the children laugh. Dig out yours and look at them closely.

Nancy Carlson is also an American author/illustrator. She has a penchant for animal characters, but they behave like human children and always provide positive outcomes and life lessons without being preachy. On her website she says why she does this... life should be fun for everyone, but especially for children. This optimistic message permeates her picture books and provides a positive counterpoint to much of what children are influenced by in today's society.

Wendy Harmer is an Australian author who has many hats, comedienne, journalist, radio and TV panelist, but she is here as the author of a very popular series of books for young readers about an urban fairy called Pearlie who lives in Jubilee Park.

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