Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nicola Bayley, illustrator and favourite books for children

The Patchwork Cat written by William Mayne and illustrated by Nicola Bayley

Nicola Bayley did the beautiful illustrations for the Mousehole Cat, talked about in an earlier post. I did a search to see what else she had illustrated and ordered this one, The Patchwork Cat. The illustrations are every bit as gorgeous.

It tells the tale of Tabby, a 'patchwork' cat who loves her patchwork blanket. When it's thrown away because it's old and dirty she inadvertently lands in the rubbish cart (because she'd crawled in to the bin to sleep on her blanket) and has to try to find her way home - carrying the blanket.

Just look how well NB has caught the fear in the face below - she's like Beatrix Potter in being able to show the feelings of an animal whilst still being true to life and not Disney-like.

All, luckily, ends happily as , lost and very tired as she drags her blanket, she comes across the milkman who takes her and her patchwork blanket home. Look at that blissful face :>) (for those of you in the US, we have milk delivered daily to our door by the 'milkman')


She is SO much like my little madame, who lies just like that in my arms when she's in the mood. I would imagine her face had that same scared expression when she was lost for almost a week earlier in the year :>(

I will definitely buy more of NB's books to add to the bookshelves of my little grandson - ready for when he's a little older.

Aren't the illustrations gorgeous?

12 comments:

dinahmow said...

Beautiful!
(One of our cats when I was a child tried to get a washed cat rug off the clotheline and brought the whole lot down!)

sharon young said...

These are truely beautiful illustrations, thank you for sharing them.
Will check out her site later, maybe she does dog illustrations too!!

vivien said...

I think they are beautiful too :)

I don't know if she does dog illustrations but quite possibly - as a cat person I just love the way she catches the body language and facial expressions - that haunted worried face for instance and the blissful look as she relaxes

Dinah I can imagine how popular your cat was with your mother!

Jeanette said...

These are gorgeous illustrations Vivien. You can tell that the artist has a lot of insight into feline behaviour in capturing that expression and motion.

vivien said...

I agree :) she obviously loves cats

and Sharon I couldn't find any with dogs but several about cats - so obviously a feline not canine fan!

dinahmow said...

Vivien, are you familiar with Lesley Fotherby's cat paintings? I think she's across the Pennines from you.
(And mother was a tad cross about the washing!)

vivien said...

I'd never seen his/her work - thanks for introducing me to it :)

Lesley rather than Leslie - she?

Lovely free watercolours, representational but loose and beautifully observed. I like the landscapes as well.

Katherine said...

Gorgeous - and I've been trying to remember the name of this artist - so thanks for the post!

vivien said...

she's done a few and there is one called the Essential Cat or something that looks like one for adults - a beautiful cat's face on the cover.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

These are so charming! Just the sort of thing I loved as a kid.

Eileen said...

I bought 'One Old Oxford Ox' in 1977 for my husband as we both loved the illustrations. I have always wondered if it would be possible to buy a print of three thick thumping tigers taking toast for tea as it is exquisite - so cosy and safe. The original would be even better but is probably not for sale. Eileen.

vivien said...

They are - utterly charming Maggie :>)

Eileen I hadn't heard of that one so I went to Amazon and searched. I've ordered it for my grandchildren - it sounds equally delightful.