Miss Fanshaw – by Sue Scullard

Miss Fanshaw and the Great Dragon Adventure – written and illustrated by Sue Scullard –  is the opposite of a pop-up book – it’s a “pop through” book.

It satisfies on several levels.   An unusual heroine, sumptuously detailed drawings and clever “reveals” created by holes cut in the pages. These holes are part of the plot, as you shall see in the examples below.


Writer / Illustrator Mervyn Peake: Drawing a vivid darkness

Inevitably I have come to Mervyn Peake. Mervyn Peake! That name casts a shadow. Have you read Titus Groan, or Gormenghast? Did you realise he was well known as an illustrator for such classics as Alice in Wonderland, and Treasure Island?

If you have not read him yet, Mervyn Peake is the master of true, dark goth. His creations live below the page, he sculpts his characters and crosshatches them with words. No one else writes, or draws, like Mervyn Peake.


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.


writer/illustrator Elizabeth Enright

Here is yet another children’s author who illustrated her own books.

Elizabeth Enright: the perfect writer for children. Her books create a world of utter joy, salted with enough realism to make it possible for you to link them to your own life.


Cornelia Funke Author/Illustrator

Cornelia Funke is another favourite author / illustrator. I’ve enjoyed many of her books – most of them for children, like “Dragonrider” and “The Thief Lord”. But I want to write about are her not-quite-children’s books, the “Inkheart” series.


Philip Pullman- illustrations

I couldn’t very well write about Steve Augarde as author / illustrator and leave out Philip Pullman, who has written some of my favourite books: the “His Dark Materials” series.