Thursday, 12 January 2012

Jan Pienkowski

Jan Pienkowski is a total and complete genius. If I could acquire a random artistic skill, I would like to be able to create art like his. Sadly, I peaked far too early when it came to artistic endeavours. I used to win all the drawing competitions when I was at infant school, but then I never improved. So I draw like a really talented 7 year old, which is brilliant when you are 5, good when you are 7, but not ideal when you are slightly older than that.

Meg and Mog books would be incredibly dull and pedestrian without the pictures. The words themselves are actually incredibly boring, as the books are designed to be read by beginner readers. Even in books like The Haunted House the text definitely takes secondary importance to the pop-ups.

My favourite is The Fairy Tales. The stories are quite long, but are well told, and the silhouette style pictures are outstanding.

Anyway, we had a chapter of Mr Gum this evening, and then I decided that as I had not written in my blog for a while, I'd better read something else. I find it a bit ironic that I decided to write a blog because I love reading books, and I am now reading extra books because I love writing the blog. The meta-narrative has taken over primary importance from the stories. Yes, I am putting the English degree to excellent use, Dad, you can sleep well in your bed knowing that the money you spent on my university education was not wasted.

I went for Meg's Eggs as a bonus story, because it's short and C loves the pictures. His godmother bought it for him when he was a toddler, because her son had loved it so much, and it has always appealed to C. He then read Meg's Castle and Meg's Car himself, shouting random factoids about the stories down the stairs to me every so often. He shouted at one point "I love the letters in this book, they look fat and nice." I so agree with this, and also wish I could write like Jan Pienkowski. At a glance it looks like anybody could write/draw like that, but that's where the real genius lies. Making something incredibly difficult look easy. Fab.

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