E is for Eastman and Eccentricity

Or, rather, caprice.

I had a difficult time with "E" because all the authors that came to mind were chapter-book authors, as opposed to picture book authors/illustrators.

P.D. Eastman, who published from the 1950s through the 1970s, deserves to be commended for his work--and here is his website. He was in fact a protege of Dr. Seuss and a cartoonist in his own right.

And yet, I cannot remember being drawn to a single one of his books as a child.

I recognize them. And I probably read them. But they interested me not a whit.

It brings up an interesting possibility: that children already have intensely personal, non-socially-induced likes and dislikes from the get-go. And that is rather astonishing!

I was drawn to Elizabeth Enright's drawings as early as I can remember. I became a fan of Trina Schart Hyman as soon as I figured out who she was. I adored Mercer Mayer's monster/magical books--so much so that I tracked down Mrs. Beggs and the Wizard years later. I didn't care for Maurice Sendak despite my mother being a tremendous fan. However, I greatly admire Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Dr. Seuss books were in our house (and I will discuss them in a later post) but eh...

Okay, it is lovely.
I was a huge fan of Cicely Mary Barker--and still have a couple of Flower Fairies books--which kind of surprises me now.  I didn't really get Quentin Blake or Edward Gorey completely but they stuck in my head, and I find them drop-dead hilarious as an adult. I was over the moon in love with the cover of Lloyd Alexander's The Book of Three and frankly read the book for its cover the first time (I went on to collect the series). This was my Luke Skywalker phase.

I didn't much like the 1970s covers for the Narnia books, but I like them now, and the collection I own is the 1970s collection. I always adored Pauline Baynes' illustrations and still consider them to be without compare.

Charles Mikolaycak, Jan Pienkowski--there's a reason I'm doing a separate list for fairy tale illustrators/writers!


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