Sunday, October 3, 2010

6th September Val Biro (1921) Jeanette Winter (1939)

Val Biro was born Balint Stephen Biro in Budapest, Hungary. He left Hungary, in 1939, aged eighteen to study art in London. He illustrated stories for other writers and published several picture book fairytales before embarking on a series of his own books in the mid 1960s. He based this series on his own vintage 1926 Austin car which he called Gumdrop. Gumdrop has a myriad of adventures, each in its own picture book.

Jeanette Winter was born in Chicago to Swedish parents. She loved art and making pictures and has used this strength to produce a number of beautiful picture books. Many are based on the lives of real people or on events that actually happened. She has a very distinctive art style - folk art like - as it is uncluttered, has no shading and very solid coloured shapes. Jeanette is not scared to take on difficult topics either, as can be seen in her books that are set in the war-torn Middle East (Nasreen's Secret School and The Librarian of Basra), her book about September 11 and her biography of Beatrix Potter which paints her childhood as an extremely forlorn one.

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