Thursday, September 5, 2013

I suppose it's an appropriate Throw-back Thursday sort of thing to have stumbled over a forgotten gem from my childhood. I have owned several copies of Hilary Knight's Where's Wallace? in my life, and true to the habits of the book's main character, the book itself frequently went missing. I think I left one at the airport when I was five.

It's premise is similar to Where's Waldo?, but concerning a delightful orange orangutan who is a bit easier for younger audiences to locate. But every page is still teaming with dozens of quirky characters.

I remember just pouring over the pages, taking in all the minute details of all the actions and expressions. I still have huge respect for artists capable of such compositions. While I was good at finding the monkey (excuse me, ape), in all my grown-upness, I've become far too impatient to sit and actually draw all those gajillions of people.

Most of you would recognize the art style of Hilary Knight, the artist responsible for the wildly popular Eloise books.  He also did illustrations for the more endearingly dated Miss Piggle-Wiggle series, a collection of cautionary tales for independent readers.

His whimsical style has stuck with me for years, and I just keep coming back to it. He illustrated over 50 children's books in his career, but many of them are now out of print. Guess I should snap up an Eloise box set while I have the chance.

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