Today's author and illustrator is Caldecott award winning Barbara Cooney. She's one of my favorites (I say that often, don't I?). Pastels of the softest hues or delicate pen and ink details combine in her illustrations. She adapted and illustrated many old folk tales, so I read her often to my younger children.
She was a born artist. Her mother was also an artist, so from her earliset days, she had access to the materials she needed. Her mother was a wise teacher: "She gave me all the materials I could wish for and then left me alone, didn’t smother me with instruction. Not that I ever took instruction very easily. My favorite days were when I had a cold and could stay home from school and draw all day long.... She was an enthusiastic painter of oils and watercolors. She was also very generous. I could mess with her paints and brushes all I wanted. On one condition: that I kept my brushes clean. The only art lesson my mother gave me was how to wash my brushes. Otherwise, she left me alone.".
She's well known for Chanticleer and the Fox and Oxcart Man, her Caldecott books, but has over 200 books to her name! Only Opal is one that touched my heart, and is based on a real girl's story. I'd never heard of her story before reading Mrs. Cooney's book.
Miss Rumphius is a title that no one should live life without reading numerous times. I love it.