Monday, August 1, 2011

1st August Michael Martchenko (1942) Sheila Hamanaka

Michael Martchenko, who was born in France, is the Canadian illustrator who has illustrated many of Robert Munsch's books. He is best known in my library for that wonderful book The Paperbag Princess, which was in fact, his first book. He has said “I try to give the kids in my illustrations spunk and make them a bit defiant; they’re always sticking out their chests and standing up for themselves," so if you laugh with his characters and /or you relate to them, maybe that is why.

Sheila Hamanaka is a Japanese American, talented author/illustrator who lives in New York. I know very little about her beyond her two books of poetry, All the Colours of the Earth and Peace Crane. The first title emphasises the multiracial nature of society and celebrates diversity. The poem is accompanied by joyful illustrations which also celebrate the diversity of the world's ethnic heritages. The second book is dedicated to the children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all children everywhere who long for peace. It is a poem which takes its inspiration from Sadako Sasaki, the Japanese child who folded paper cranes in a bid to be free of leukemia.

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