Today is the birthday of three amazing illustrators! Each has a very distinct style and each has many memorable illustrations worth perusing.
Tomi Ungerer, the French illustrator was born Jean-Thomas Ungerer in Strasbourg. He has had a colourful career, moving a number of times, changing work focus often and being an inveterate collector. He moved to the USA in 1956 and had his first children's book published very soon after. As well as children's books he published many adult books. Many readers say that his books are 'unusual' which is probably a polite way of saying they don't like them, but I do. I particularly like The Beast of Monsieur Racine, Crictor and his twisted fairytales. I remember reading his version of Red Riding Hood to a year five and we were talking about the ending where she ate the wolf for weeks to come. Ungerer won the Hans Christian Anderson Award in 1998 and in 2007 Strasbourg honoured him by opening the Tomi Ungerer Museum.
Ed Young is an American illustrator who was born in China, living in Shanghai and Hong Kong before moving to the USA to study architecture. While there he turned instead to art and illustration. He has illustrated a multitude of books, mainly for other authors. He won the Caldecott Medal for Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story From China and has been nominated for the Hans Christian Anderson Award twice. Ed's illustrations often include collage and often they appear dark, but they are very dramatic and add a dimension to the author's text that certainly enhance the words and make the book long lasting. His best books often have an Asian origin and he is able to bring the story alive authentically. This is obvious in Tsunami; Wabi Sabi; Beyond the Great Mountains; Monkey King and Cat and Rat. Ed Young would make my list of top ten illustrators!
David Wyatt is an English illustrator, best known for his illustrations of fantasy for authors such as Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Dianne Wynne Jones. Look at his website to see just how detailed and beautiful his illustrations are. In my library there is very little of his work except in Geraldine McCaughrean's Peter Pan in Scarlet which is a beautifully illustrated 'gift' book.