A Cheese and Tomato Spider
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The cover of this issue is a design incorporating illustrations from four books illustrated by the subject of our Authorgraph, Ian Beck. The top left illustration is from Five Little Ducks (Orchard), the top right from Poppy and Pip's Picnic (to be published Autumn '97 by HarperCollins), the bottom left from The Owl and the Pussy-cat (Transworld) and the bottom right from Home Before Dark (to be published September '97 by Scholastic). Ian Beck's Picture Book (Hippo) is reviewed in this issue.
Beck talks to BfK's interviewer, Julia Eccleshare, also in this issue. His distinctive decorative style with its sensitive pen line and cross hatching has a nostalgic but sometimes also a surreal quality - he describes it as 'a look that is floating, strong and wistful all at the same time'.
Thanks to Orchard, HarperCollins, Transworld and Scholastic for their help in producing this composite cover.
Sharratt's distinctive bright and bold illustrations outlined in black will undoubtedly make this mix'n'match, split-page collection of unlikely and whacky mixtures a hit. It is a follow up to Ketchup on Your Cornflakes and will keep young children chuckling throughout. The more successful and humorous mix-ups are those involving people and creatures, less so are those containing inanimate objects. The text on the left hand side of each double page varies from big to huge and from bold to ultra bold. Some people may prefer a more consistent approach to the size of print and its boldness, though this is all part of the book's originality. The typeface, with serifs and the use of ampersands, is perhaps a little too fussy in a book intended for young children.