Sunday, December 12, 2010

13th December

No birthday, but on the 10th when there were so many birthdays, it was also Ann Turner's birthday. She was born in 1945 and is an American author. I do not know her work well, but the one book of hers that is in my library, In the Heart is illustrated by Salley Mavor, an illustrator who uses fabric to make 'wee people' for her very tactile illustrations. Salley's birthday is the 14th April, 1955 and I didn't know that back in April. In my library we have three of Salley's books. The other two are Martin Waddell's The Hollyhock Wall and Judith Benet Richardson's The Way Home. Recently though, I read about her new book Pocketful of Posies and I cannot wait to see these illustrations. Hurry up and come to Australia. The illustrations I have seen on websites are beautifully detailed, exquisite masterpieces. Her fabric relief technique is meticulous and slow, with a page in a book taking a month or so to do. This means a whole book could take a year or two. But to quote William Joyce who celebrated his own birthday only a couple of days ago, "Children's literature is the first literature and the first art children are exposed to. It should be good. And when it is, it should be given respect." So it is fitting that Salley Mavor has spent so much of her time illustrating nursery rhymes!

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