Monday, November 17, 2008

Daniel and Jill Pinkwater

above photo credit to Jon Wolf from this site.

In honor of his birthday on Saturday, I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite authors, Daniel Pinkwater. If you are not familiar with his work I would recommend exploring his web site for a day so, and in particular to check out his podcast. You may just find yourself mysteriously wandering off to the youth section of your local library.

I am huge fan of children's and young adult literature and my love of Pinkwater goes all the way back to first discovering The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado Death & The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror at my library some 20 odd years ago (ahem...).

Since that first discovery I've been an avid reader, and now listener. I love his sense of humor and the absurd combined with his wonderful ability to address a myriad of issues – morality, family, being different, being true to yourself, loyalty and loss. His stories can be touching, but mostly, they are FUN. Unabashed fun. I can't help but think that much of the fabulous children's lit of today owes a lot to his realistic language and off-the-wall adventures, so often set in rather banal locations like Hoboken, New Jersey. He combines chickens, werewolves, UFO's and moose, cows and outsider kids to create memorable stories that will make you laugh out loud (I sound like a dust jacket review!)

I'm also a fan of Jill Pinkwater's illustrations (seen above in the Baconburg Horror cover and below for more). Her quirky style perfectly sets the tone for her husband's stories. These stories and illustrations have played a huge part in my inspiration as an artist.

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