Friday, August 12, 2005

Shirley Hughes and Jane Yolen

An article I missed last week (by Boyd Tonkin) profiles ten best books for under-fives for The Independent. On the list are two of my favorite writer-illustrators for the younger set--Helen Oxenbury (with All Fall Down) and Shirley Hughes (Alfie's Alphabet). I've recently mentioned Oxenbury as a favorite. I also adore Shirley Hughes! Her books are so beautiful, kind, and entertaining. (And, one of her heroines--Angel Mae--looks just like a child version of my best friend.)

Not on the list is a board book I spotted in L.A. yesterday--Urban Babies Wear Black. Susan at Chicken Spaghetti was understandably dubious of the concept. I'm not going to comment on the actual text ('Urban babies do yoga'), but the illustrations by Nathalie Dion are stylish and stunning.

Newsweek has published an interesting interview of Jane Yolen this week. Jane is a hero in the children's writing (and blogging) community, so it's nice to see her ideas out there nationally. (Though I do hate the continual slam of Rowling's prose by other, more "literary" writers. Rowling's writing is what it is. History will tell whether or not her writing will stand the test of time.)