A few days ago, I went with other writers, illustrators and friends of Jan Ormerod to her memorial gathering at The Falcon Inn in Uppingham. It had been organised by her daughters Laura and Sophie.
Jan will always be remembered for the way she drew children.
In Moonlight the companion book to her first, award winning, picture book, Sunshine, she is able to show the tenderness between a father and daughter and capture all the stances and mannerisms of small children. (These images come from the first edition of the book.)
She could draw babies like nobody else –
like this one in Lizzie Nonsense, a picture book inspired by her Australian grandmother.
Jan was brought up in
and she captures the heat of
that arid land in Water Witcher by
using a limited palette and strong black line. Western
Again it’s the life and humour in her drawings of the children that make this book so special.
She once said, “My books have largely been a celebration and savoring of the positive experience of parenthood.”
But I think she did more than that. Jan had the ability to capture love, without sentimentality, between the pages of a book; here, a mother- daughter love in this picture from Lizzie Nonsense.