Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Stories for Bedtime

One of my family of fans came up with a wonderful name for my bedtime stories CD: "Firefly Light." How wonderful is that? If you had a favourite bedtime story, what was it? One of my favourites, as an older child, was the story of Gelert, the faithful hound.  Wales was not that far from home and my Dad lived in South Wales, so as a family we were often crossing the borders. Many Welsh tales were heard, picked up and told, or read to us and although the story is one of hasty decisions and grief, it is nevertheless a remarkable tale.

Another favourite of mine was a book by a writer/illustrator called Cam. The book, one of several of Cam's was called "Timothy Tabby Cat" from 1947. It is beautifully illustrated as all Cam's books are. I think what caught me were the illustrations which brought the story together. The pictures made up for what might be hinted at in the words. And the dragon was amazing. I have never been able to find out who Cam was, or is. These books were my mothers books, so Cam would be one of our elders by now. Do you have any illustrators or writers who vanished, as it were? Kids writers, I mean.

I think Cam awoke a love of illustration for me. When I have purchased books either for myself in my 20's and 30's or for my kids since they came into the world, or the kids of others, illustration plays a large part in my choices. When I came over to the States I discovered Trina Schart Hyman, who sadly lost her life to cancer in 2004. I was lucky enough to meet her, but at the time I did not know 'who she was'; she was introduced as Trina and I did not make the connection. Trina's work is simply amazing. Cam started the height of my bar, then my friend in England, Rob Brookes raised it, and Trina is one of the greats, in my opinion, illustrating over 150 books.

I would love some comments on your favourite books and illustrators as a child and why, if you have time!