Part of the wonder of working in children's lit. and fairy tale is the illustration. I often encounter students who don't like illustrated books - as though the art 'limits' the imagination. To a certain extent, I can see where they're coming from. Yet the art leaves an indelible impression and the meaning can be profound. Not so long ago, Margery Gill died. It wasn't until I read about this event in the Guardian that I realised she was the illustrator behind many of my favourite books (as in, actual books... editions of the classics that I grew up with). Her little women were my little women. Sketched, with prim little mouths and messy hair, I loved them. I copied her illustrations as I learned to draw. The pen and ink was a revelation. The sadness of her little princess made it my favourite novel for a long time.
What inspired this thought? A little blog in which the artist is 'directed' by his four year old daughter. He's just gotten a book deal. Fantastic. I particularly liked his print of a duck biting a dinosaur's tail!