This is my current favourite children's book:
I ordered it for Ariana for Christmas. I postponed wrapping it for a week so I could look at it every night before bed. The images are that gorgeous and soothing. Now it resides in the little turquoise backpack Ariana uses to store and transport her prized possessions.
Charley Harper (1922-2007) was an American artist known for his geometric, stylized depictions of wildlife. He commented once that while some artists counted the feathers in the wings, he merely counted the number of wings. His images are simple, playful and brilliantly coloured.
Harper grew up on a farm in Cincinnati and enjoyed wildlife from an early age. I find stories of nature-loving children who grow up to become artists/naturalists immensely appealing. It seems so pure. And what better blend of art and science? (Robert Bateman's story is similarly pleasing - now there's someone who counts every feather in the wing.)
So now I'm trying to pick a print or two for our home. My job would be easier if the man weren't so remarkably prolific and talented. I will soldier on.