Sunday, November 28, 2010

29th November Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888) C.S.Lewis (1898 - 1963) Jane Tanner (1946) Jackie French (1953) Adrian Reynolds (1963)

What a lot of birthdays! The first two, Louisa May Alcott and C.S. (Clive Staples) Lewis need very little introduction and their classics, Little Women and the Narnia series of books were written for children older than those I teach, even though they know of them from movies, so I do not intend to write about them.

Jane Tanner is an Australian illustrator who lives in Melbourne and was a secondary school art teacher before becoming a fulltime illustrator. Each of her illustrations looks like a painting that could be framed and as such her illustrations are meticulous. She rarely does more than a book every year or so. She has said, "I've always been fascinated by the changes in mood created by the play of light in a particular place and time..." and this can beseen clearly in her Children's Book Council Picture Book of the Year winner Drac and the Gremlin which is written by Allan Baillie. There's a Sea in My Bedroom is another popular book that Jane illustrated.

Jackie French is also Australian. She is an author and far more prolific than Jane Tanner. She writes for a broad age group, doing humorous picture books, short stories, historical novels for young adults, historical non fiction and even gardening books. Her website tells you all about her and her myriad of books. For my children it is hard to go past her Shaggy Gully Books, in particular Diary of a Wombat. This book with its very minimal text amuses readers of all ages. And her Wacky Families series amuses my good Year 2 readers. They like to work their way through the lot once they been hooked with the first one, usually My Auntie Chook the Vampire Chicken.

Adrian Reynolds is the British illustrator responsible for Harry and the Dinosaurs with the author Ian Whybrow. Their website is amazing. It provides you with all sorts of reading record proformas, information for parents who are reluctant to read to their children, and things to use in the classroom. Of course Adrian has illustrated other books as well. A favourite in the library is Who's in the Loo? by Jeanne Willis, but as well as other Jeanne Willis books , he has done Michael Rosen's books about Bear and books for Jonathan Emmett.

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