One book that I forgot to mention when I blogged about the books I had bought in Edinburgh last week is The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen retold by Naomi Lewis and illustrated by Christian Birmingham. I must say that I bought the book just for the beautiful illustrations, I don’t think I had seen any of Christian Birmingham’s work before. So the fact that I wasn’t struck by the re-writing by Naomi Lewis doesn’t matter so much to me, it’s enough to be able to just admire the beautiful artwork, some of which you can see here.
His style seems perfect for this subject as his illustrations have such a lovely ethereal quality.
I still find myself eyeing up children’s books even although there are no wee ones in our family now, and sometimes I just have to add a few more to my collection. My most recent purchases have been:
WENCESLAS by Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by Christian Birmingham. It’s obviously just a re-telling of the traditional Good King Wenceslas fairy tale but the illustrations are lovely and give a real sense of the falling snow. You can see for yourself here and can also see some of the other books he has illustrated, more for me to look out for!
And another book I bought recently is:
Minou – it’s a book about a cat called Minou whose ‘owner’ dies, so Minou ends up on the streets having to learn how to fend for herself. Minou lives in Paris and it was really the beautiful illustrations of Paris that attracted me to the book, but the story is a way of teaching little girls to be independent and confident, to rely on themselves. It was written by Mindy Bingham and illustrated by Itoko Maeno. You can see some illustrations here.
Some people on the internet are trying to sell this book for silly money – such as £88 but I bought a perfect copy (1st edition) for all of £3.