Tag Archives: #Picturebooks

Illustrators and their works of art

“The picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe”

Charley Harper

 

This month we are delving into the world behind books and will look at the different elements that exist to bring our favourite titles to life. This week, it’s illustrators and their amazing works of art.

Many of our favourite illustrators are found inside the covers of children’s books, and a few beautiful coffee table books too. Here are our favourites.

Charley Harper an Illustrated Life by Todd Oldham

Charley Harper was an American original. For over six decades he painted colourful and graphic illustrations of nature, animals, insects and people alike, from his home studio in Cincinnati, Ohio until he passed away in 2007 at the age of 84. Renowned New York based designer Todd Oldham rediscovered Charley’s work in 2001, and collaborated closely with him in the ensuing years; combing through his extensive archive to edit and design this stunning monograph. This coffee table tomb is a beautiful tribute to Charley Harper’s singular style, which he referred to as Minimal Realism.

 

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Winning the Caldecott Medal for the Most Distinguished Picture Book of the Year, 1964 it is no surprise that this is one of the most well known and best loved children’s stories which is appreciated as much for its illustrations as its narrative. Sendak’s attention to detail is apparent in the millions of tiny ink lines he added to show the hairs on the Wild Things.

 

 

The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

The gorgeous images that feature in Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile are by the enormously talented Quentin Blake.

This beautiful picture book was the first that Dahl and Blake collaborated on in the mid-70s. The duo went on to work together for many years, with Blake’s distinctive art helping to bring Dahl’s much loved characters to life.

 

 

 

 

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

Best-selling, multi-award-winning talent, Oliver Jeffers both wrote and illustrated this tale of mystery. Animals home are disappearing and trees are being cut down. Can the discarded paper airplanes littering the forest floor explain why?

This charming children’s picture book is full of Jeffers’ quirky illustrations. His childlike drawings are simple but brilliant, enabling children to identify with his characters as well as understanding the message in this moving story.

 

 

 

Animalia by Graeme Base

There’s no denying the talent of illustrator Graeme Base based on his drawings for this alphabet picture book. Each of the 26 letters is accompanied by an amazingly detailed illustration of a different animal.

The illustrations also feature other objects beginning with that letter for the reader to identify. And if that’s not enough, Base also included an image of himself as a child on every page. A year after it was released, Animalia won the title of Honour Book in the Council of Australia’s Children’s Book of the Year Award: Picture Book.

 

 

If you have a budding illustrator in your midst, there is a session being held at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne on March 16. Click here for details.

Enjoy!

The 5 most beautiful children’s picture books of all time

Favourite picture books from childhood leave lasting memories.  Then there are the special ones, the books that are more like works of art.  These are the treasures that you keep long after you leave childhood.  If you are looking for a gift that  will leave lasting memories, here are our 5 top picks:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:arrivalThe Arrival by Shaun Tan

In this wordless graphic novel, a man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family.

 

 

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:gardenThe Garden of Abdul Gasazi, written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg.

When the dog he is caring for runs away from Alan into the forbidden garden of a retired dog-hating magician, a spell seems to be cast over the contrary dog.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:outsideOutside Over There, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak

With Papa off to sea and Mama despondent, Ida must go outside over there to rescue her baby sister from goblins who steal her to be a goblin’s bride.

 

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Snow-white and the Seven Dwarfs, written by Jacob and Willhelm Grimm, illustrated by Nancy E. Burkert

Retells the tale of the beautiful princess whose lips were red as blood, skin was white as snow, and hair was black as ebony.

 

 

 

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East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales From the North, illustrated by Kay Nielsen.

Featuring 15 Scandinavian fairy tales — including the popular “Billy Goat’s Gruff”– this is one of the most stunning children’s books ever produced. The text is lavished with 25 intricately detailed colour and numerous black-and-white images that glow with Nielsen’s phantasmagorical style.