Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration

Candlewick. Apr. 2019. 256p. Tr $40. ISBN 9780763692582.
Picture book lovers will delight in this elegant, entertaining, and insightful look at the life and career of one of the preeminent creators of the art form. For more than 50 years, Oxenbury’s name has been synonymous with the best of what is being published for young audiences, from infancy and toddlerhood to school age and beyond. Her books have resonated as deeply with the adults reading them as they have with her young subjects. While simple in form, they are psychologically spot-on and warmly humorous. Marcus recounts Oxenbury’s early years, influences, and development as they have informed her creative endeavors. In describing “a life in illustration,” the author demonstrates how Oxenbury has been at the nexus of the evolution of the publishing industry over the past half century into the global enterprise that it became today. The book is chock-full of photographs and glorious full-color reproductions from many of the artist’s most beloved works.
VERDICT Like a rock star’s greatest hits album, this lovely oversize volume will enchant Oxenbury’s many fans and be revisited time and again

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