Inspiring Young Readers
The Picture Books of Emma Chichester Clark
I was lucky enough to see Emma Chichester Clark talking about how she approaches her work at the Cheltenham Festival a couple of years ago. She explained that she was taught by Quentin Blake and Michael Foreman at the Royal College of Art and she was very influenced by their styles, but before that loved the Madeleine books illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans and Babar illustrated by Jean de Brunhoff. I love the depth of the colour that she uses, particularly the blues and pinks which shine through in all her books. She explains that this effect is achieved by layering concentrated watercolour. She has illustrated many fairy tales and traditional stories and has collaborated with illustrious authors such as Michael Morpurgo with whom she recently produced a stunning version of Pinocchio. She is a well- established author in her own right and is renowned for stories about Lily and her toy blue kangaroo who together have very ordinary but familiar adventures. Amongst my personal favourites are her characters Melrose the dog and Croc the crocodile who form an unlikely but lifelong friendship. She has published over sixty sumptuous picture books so far, long may she continue.