22 August, 2010

The Children's Book Council of Australia

The annual awards from The Children's Book Council of Australia have been announced!
There are many fine books which have earned a gong. One of my favourites this year, is Bear and Chook by the Sea.

It's published by Lothian Children's Books, Hachette, written by the award-winning Lisa Shanahan and illustrated by the very talented Emma Quay. This book is a sequel to the equally delightful Bear and Chook. 
Who could resist that lovable bear and rascally chook? Check out both!

Talking of poultry,  Mr Chicken Goes to Paris  was also a contender for an award but alas, didn't make it this year.  This fabulous picture-book about a feisty worldly chicken, is a definite award winner in my view.  Written and illustrated by the amazingly creative Leigh Hobbs and published by Allen and Unwin.

15 August, 2010

Gustaf Tenggren

Gustaf Tenggren was born in 1896 in Sweden to a family of artists. He showed early aptitude and began thorough training as an artist.  His early illustration work shows an influence from his contemporaries, mainly John Bauer, and decorative styles of the day.  The subject matter was often mythological in nature.

Tenggren immigrated to the US in 1920. He opened a studio in New York  and began a prolific output in children's books and magazine illustration. His style changed to adapt to the requirements of the market. In 1936 he was hired by Walt Disney to work on the first feature length animated film, Snow White.
He also worked on Pinocchio,  Fantasia, Bambi and others, as a concept artist and designer. His Scandinavian background is evident in the artwork for these films.

From the 1940's to 1962, Gustaf Tenggren was a major illustrator of  Little Golden books.  One of his best known titles from these books is The Poky Little Puppy. He was amazingly successful and produced art for a wide range of subjects and age groups.

One of my favourite books from childhood is called Golden Tales from the Arabian Nights with superb illustrations by Tenggren. His approach is more stylised than his Disney work.

Gustaf Tenggren died in 1970 and his widow donated much of his artwork and papers to the children's literature research library at the University of Minnesota,

Early works from the 1920's.

Little Golden Book titles illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren

Golden Tales from the Arabian Nights. Simon and Schuster. First published in 1957

For further information and more of his artwork, there is a great site devoted to Gustaf Tenggren. Take a look here.

08 August, 2010

Annie to the Rescue

My book is now in glorious paperback!  Originally published in 2007, Annie to the Rescue is a companion volume to Annie's Chair.
Both books tell stories of a small girl who likes to do things her way. She considers herself resourceful and brave. Sometimes things don't go to plan in Annie's world but she always faces the challenges.

The artwork in these books were drawn and painted in the traditional method on watercolour paper, with some digital input.
Both books have been incredibly popular. I often get lovely letters telling me that the Annie stories have been very much enjoyed by the family.

More about these books on my website. (see side panel)  Also click on the books' covers to read more from the publishers at Penguin.

01 August, 2010

Korean folk art

Here are some gorgeous examples of Korean folk painting.  The dexterity and economy of line and colour is beautiful and so effective in depicting the subjects of birds, butterflies and insects, fruit, fish, foliage and one lumpy toad.