Thursday, April 14, 2011

15th April Jacqueline Briggs Martin (1945) Nick Butterworth (1946) Cressida Cowell (1966)

Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the author of the beautiful, Caldecott Award winning picture book Snowflake Bentley. To be honest I think of it as Mary Azarian's book, probably because I just love the illustrations and she is the illustrator, but I do know it wouldn't exist if there hadn't been an author. Having checked out Jacqueline's website I now know she has written many other things and I need to search them out and read further.

Nick Butterworth is an English author illustrator with a long list of picture books to his credit. His series about Percy the Park Keeper, although very English has some dedicated followers in the library and then he has other characters such as the cats Jasper and Tiger, the martian, Q Pootle 5, and polar bear Albert Le Blanc who appear in more than one book each. I heard Nick Butterworth speak in Sydney about his career and as a result my interest was sparked enough to follow his work more closely. I like the crispness of his illustrations with their white backgrounds and the warmth of the stories. If you do not know his Percy books, see One Snowy Night, the original story. There is a good version here.

And thirdly, it is author Cressida Cowell's birthday. She is best known for her series of novels, dragon stories that began with How to Train Your Dragon and now has enough books in the series to keep all avid dragon story readers going for quite some time. A few of my Year 2 readers start this adventure because they have seen the movie, but for most the reading is just beyond them. However Cressida has a number of picture books to keep my clientele busy, including the three about Emily Brown. I particularly like the way Cressida started out illustrating her own books and only as she has become busier has she relinquished her picture books to other illustrators. Go to her website and read about her. I'd love to swap places with her for a while!

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