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Monday November 07 2011 10:21 AM
Have you noticed how many extremely talented Irish illustrators there are out there at the moment? It certainly has been a good year for these imaginative artists and it seems Irish children are noticing their good works more than ever. There were five picture books on the shortlist for the 2011 Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Award!
What makes a good book? The plot? The characters? The front cover? Of course these are vitally important parts of any book but one area we tend to often overlook is the illustration. Sometimes you just want to get on with it and read your book but if you take a step back and look again you might just see that the pictures in the same book are silently telling the story for you. Think back to some of your favourite books. Chances are some of these were illustrated by some very talent artists who want to share their image of the story or character with you.
This year was a good year for home-grown illustrators. As lots of you will already know, Chris Haughton’s debut picture book ‘A Bit Lost’ has won many, many awards this year. We just love this book and honestly, it is well worth a read (even if you’re an adult!)… we defy you not to get a little teary-eyed when Little Owl is finally reunited with Mummy Owl! The pictures tell the story so well that there is no need for pages and pages of text. He is definitely one of our faves here at MS READaTHON HQ and we can’t wait for his next one!
Oliver Jeffers is another notable artist with Irish origins. His titles include ‘Stuck’, ‘Lost and Found’ and ‘The Heart and the Bottle’ and his wonderful illustrations are instantly recognisable. The latter deals with loss in such a way that is so heart-warming, the illustrations make you feel every emotion the little girl is feeling. Kevin Waldron’s star is on the rise and we can see why! He illustrated ‘Tiny Little Fly’ (written by Michael Rosen) and his drawings added colour and life to the story. Why don’t you read it and let us know what you think? Kevin has also designed some beautiful illustrations to bring out the endless magic of ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’.
One of the most popular illustrators of all time is Quentin Blake. He had a long working relationship with Roald Dahl and created the pictures that you see on every Roald Dahl book cover. Nowadays it is hard to imagine James or his Giant Peach looking any different to how Blake drew it, isn’t it? Speaking of which, the illustrations in all of the Dr Seuss books represent the stories so well that it would be almost impossible to picture The Cat in the Hat drawn by someone else now wouldn’t it?
A picture tells a thousand words. Now off you go and create the one that tells your story! Tell us your favourite illustrator, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Author: MS READaTHON Team
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