Shel Silverstein How Shaun Tan transformed children’s literature The king said, “What punishment should someone receive who drags an innocent victim out of bed and throws her into the river to drown?” Sample the FT’s top stories for a week You select the topic, we deliver the news. The stepmother said at once, “That’s a dreadful crime. “Then that is what we shall do,” said the king. He ordered such a barrel made, and as soon as it was ready, the woman and her daughter were put inside and the top was nailed down. It is episodes such as this, from Philip Pullman’s retelling of “The Three Little Men in the Woods”, that explain why the tales of the Brothers Grimm are not so prominently displayed in the children’s sections of British bookshops these days. Shaun Tan, the latest artist to give form to these German folk stories collected in the early 19th century, is not one to shy away from difficult subject matter. “It’s pure nightmare fodder,” says the Australian writer, artist and film-maker. Shaun Tan is a visionary and a magician. Portrait by Lewis Khan
Michael P. White -- Illustrated Books The Library Dragon Written by Carmen Agra Deedy Illustrated by Michael P. White When Sunrise Elementary School advertised for a thick-skinned librarian with a burning love of books, Miss Lotta Scales knew she was perfect for the job. Who could guard books better than a REAL dragon? "She kept a fiery eye out to make sure no one removed any books from the shelves.... The very thought of sticky little fingerstouching and clutching, pawing and clawing, smearing and tearing her precious books just made her hot under the collar." The teachers, singed and scorched, formed a delegation. Fortunately, nearsighted Molly Rickmeyer stumbles into a copy of Snuff the Magic Dragon and reads the tale out loud.