Alice 30 Day Challenge - Day 8

"What is your favourite illustration/Who is your favourite illustrator?"

This has a very obvious answer, which I shall entirely avoid once again. xD The easy answer, of course, is that John Tenniel was both the original and instantly classic illustrator of Carroll’s works, and is pretty much the benchmark by which all illustrators who have followed after have been judged. But to give that answer would be predictable, or worse, mundane.

Instead, my answer for favourite illustrator is Helen Oxenbury.

Oxenbury’s illustrations were published only quite recently, in 1999 and 2005 respectively, but I feel have a timeless quality and actually rather remind me of the illustrations from Beatrix Potter’s stories.

She apparently was quoted as stating that she wished to modernise the illustrations, to appeal more to the newest generation of young readers just starting out at school, and I think she did a lovely job at that. Gone is the traditional (and rather old-fashoned, not surprisingly) pinafore dress, long stripey stocks and shiny black patent leather Mary-Janes that Alice wore (although thinking about it, I do believe they weren’t called Mary_Janes until early in the 20th century), and instead this modernised Alice wears a simply sky-blue jumper dress and white sneakers. I’d also venture to say that she looks more like a 7yo than even Tenniel’s illustrations - I always thought his drawings made Alice look quite a bit older than 7.

As to which of her illustrations is my favourite, I’d have to go with this one - which is also the cover illustration on the hardback edition bearing her artwork. Downright cute. :D

…this gets me thinking, perhaps since the next generation of Alice fans are so computer and internet savvy, we should try to approach them by bringing Alice into the 21st century….maybe translate Alice’s adventures into lolspeak? Well, I know there’s an effort in progress already to create the Lolcat Bible, why not a Lolcat-Alice? And talking of that, can you imagine the Cheshire Lolcat? :D Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

"Why, I’ve often seen a cat without a lol, but I do believe never have I seen a lol without a cat before!" :P Only more in lolspeak than that, naturally. Just a little something to think on…

Clap Hands is the last of the four in this series by Oxenbuy. I’m not sure if it’s the last that she’s written, but it’s last in order of how much my one year old likes them. That said, this is an awesome book for one year olds! I love how Oxenbury has captured this age in these books. In case you want my opinion of the best to not-best: Say Goodnight, Tickle Tickle (though I think this is his current favorite), All Fall Down, and Clap Hands.

Last Chance to Catch Quentin Blake and Friends

Last Chance to Catch Quentin Blake and Friends at the The National Trust’s Mottisfont. Including other illustrations from Emma Chichester Clark, Helen Oxenbury, Rebecca Cobb, Oliver Jeffers, Michael Foreman, Jane Pinkney and Paul Cox.

"Quentin Blake’s illustrations … bounce, curl, smile and dance at you. His vivaciousness is enchanting. It captures adults and children alike."

Find out more here.

My three year old is completely captivated by the idea of going on a bear hunt because of this book. I was a little nervous that he would be scared of the bear. He was concerned, but we talked about growly animals and he seemed fine with it in the end. He can be a little sensitive to that sort of thing. The illustrations in We’re Going on a Bear Hunt are wonderful. I like the way Oxenbury captures children’s movements.

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