28 June 2012
Drawing the line for kids
Line 2: Children’s Book IllustrationAvailable from the Art Office, APU, <br>East Road, Cambridge CB1 1PT, £15<br>
Illustrating for children forms the subject of the second issue of Line, an occasional journal on drawing and illustration from Anglia Polytechnic University (APU) Cambridge, co-edited by illustration course director Martin Salisbury and lecturer and illustration writer Wendy Coates-Smith. Line 2 goes to New York to meet Stinky Cheese man Lane Smith, and Robin Harris and Nick Sharratt get their hands dirty at the keyboard, but the core lies in interviews with an earlier generation of illustrators: André François, John Lawrence, Fritz Wegner. German-born Susan Einzig slips in on the basis of her drawings for Tom’s Midnight Garden (1958), and Quentin Blake talks about being Children’s Laureate. The craft and tradition of illustration, based in observational drawing, are Line’s real subject.
The illustration of books for children poses specific problems: with engaging the pre-literate; with encouraging imagination as reading skills develop. Czech illustrator Kveta Pacovská has thought deeply about this; her sensual books stimulate correspondences between text, sight, hearing, and touch. André François’ classics are the more successful for refusing to ‘draw down’ to young readers. Lavishly illustrated and beautifully printed by CUP, Line 2 is a portfolio of some of the more engaged and engaging illustrators