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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.
We could all probably hazard a guess at some of the likely candidates for a book about 'building the world's great monuments', and not surprisingly Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal are amongst the fourteen featured here. Perhaps more of a surprise is that only one - the Hoover Dam - was erected within the last 350 years! Succinct summaries provide explanations or hypotheses as to 'why' each of them was built, but coverage of the 'how' is often tantalisingly and sometimes disappointingly brief. Only four are given more than a double-page spread each, so that text, photographs, diagrams and artists' drawings are all vying for space, albeit within a fairly generous format. As a result, the sheer scale and magnitude of the human