Markus Mouse by Maria Majewska

I’ve been enjoying looking at Maria Majewska’s illustrations of Markus Muis se Nuwe Huis ( Marcus Mouse’s New House). I like the way she uses pattern and treats all surfaces with equal attention.  And I like how she draws everything with such respect for what it is.


The story is about Marcus Mouse’s search for a comfortable home.  He starts off in his overcrowded family home: More

December’s Travels – Dusan Kallay & Mischa Damjan

I wonder what I would have thought of December’s Travels if I’d read it as a child.  Many of the children’s books I love now I found too intense when I was little. December’s Travels is illustrated by the Slovakian illustrator Dussan Kallay:


The story, by Yugoslavian Mischa Damjan tells what happens when the month of December decides to visit the other months in the year.  Here is December preparing toys for Christmas: More

Franklin Stein by Ellen Raskin

I found this lovely bright little book by writer / illustrator Ellen Raskin.  It was published in 1972:


I’m fascinated by the illustration style which seems to be planned for the way the book was printed.    I love the way the colours are separated and overprinted to create other shades, and how the black  line ties everything together: More

Wonderful Life by Helen Ward

I’ve found another writer / illustrator:  Helen Ward.  I have quite a few of her books already, but they are all illustrated by Wayne Anderson so I never twigged.  I found Wonderful Life at a book sale and promptly bought two copies.


It is the story of a little creature, an Ift called Snutt.  Snutt is an explorer and a dreamer who travels through space finding life all over the universe: More

Errol Le Cain’s Cinderella: A World of Beauty in the Detail

Here is a magical book for you to have a look at: Cinderella by Errol Le Cain. This process of sharing my favorite illustrators has helped me realise how profoundly they have influenced me . When I am asked what my influences are, I tend to think about serious fine artists. Audrey Beardsley maybe? But in all honesty, it is people like Errol Le Cain who have shaped the way I look at things.

I wish I could draw like Errol Le Cain! Here is Cinderella doing her embroidery under the watchful eye of her stepmother and stepsisters. More

writer/illustrator Charles Keeping: Joseph’s Yard

Charles Keeping was a powerful force in my childhood. I was scared and fascinated by his books . The drawings burn on the page, and the stories cut into your heart. I was deeply influenced by his drawing style – that muscular scrawl with ink and wash. In this post I want to share one particular book: “Joseph’s Yard” which I grew up knowing as “Josef se plant”, in its Afrikaans version.