Reading about Kay Thompson you find that she was quite a character. Born Catherine L. Fink she reinvented herself, became an actress, singer, composer and author. She lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York and she used this as the setting for her famous Eloise stories. Originally I resisted buying any Eloise titles for the library because they are so American, dated and Eloise is so precocious, but expat children would ask for them or bring their own copies to show me, so I relented and purchased some. They are popular with the girls and they particularly like the spin off Ready-To-Read titles because they can read them themselves. The lovely doll pictured above was purchased at the New York Library bookshop and lugged home in my hand luggage.
Lois Ehlert is on my list of ten favourite picture book illustrators. I love the bright colours, the strong shapes, the clear lines, the collage, the way she uses found objects, the paper engineering and the environmental themes. I am always in awe at each new book. I know there is a new one, Lots of Spots and I can't wait for it to be in Australia. Her books make you want to create, to use scissors, leaves, seeds, grow things and eat! Lois doesn't appear to have her own website, but there are a number of interviews with her on the web. The Reading Rockets interview is a good starting point if you want to know more.