30 January, 2011

A plethora of pigs

What is it about the charms of our porcine friends which attract the artist and illustrator?
Many a delightful character has been created in pigly form by a large number of artists.
Here is a selection of superb swines to appreciate. All by artists who have a special affinity with the inspiring pig.

Colin McNaughton, Illustrator:   Book - Who's Been Sleeping in my Porridge?

Carol Thompson, Illustrator:   Book - In My Bathroom

Anthony Browne, Illustrator:   Book - Piggybook

Arnold Lobel, Illustrator:  Book - The Book of Pigericks

Mick Inkpen, Illustrator:  Book - If I Had a Pig

19 January, 2011

A favourite book

Mister Dog is a childhood favourite!
The combination of the quirky story by Margaret Wise Brown and the perfect illustrations by Garth Williams makes this one a winner.

It was many years later before I stumbled on a reprint and I had just as much enjoyment from this book as I did when I was a child.

Garth Williams (1912-1996) as an illustrator was able to convey the furriness and character of the many animals he drew in his books.  As a child this is what appealed to me looking at his illustrations.

Garth Williams has a well-known reputation as an artist, writer and illustrator. His classics include Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.

From an obituary article by Mel Gussow in The NY Times 1996:

"In his review of "Stuart Little" in The New York Times Book Review in 1945, Malcolm Cowley praised the book as "one of the best children's books published this year," but never mentioned the name of the illustrator (often Mr. Williams's fate)."

Another quote from Mel Gussow:

"He (Garth Williams) believed that books "given, or read, to children can have a profound influence." For that reason, he said, he used his illustrations to try to "awaken something of importance . . . humor, responsibility, respect for others, interest in the world at large."

May Garth Williams continue to delight generations of children with his thoughtful, skilled and humorous illustrations.