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Pam Royds on Grasmere , 1971 with Sally Christie, children’s author and daughter of Philippa Pearce. I was just twenty two when I fir...

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My blog is about writing and illustrating children's books which I have been doing since 1974. www.gillianmcclure.com has all my books. I also have another blog: www.paulcoltman.blogspot.com where I publish my father's poems.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


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 Western Australia and she captures the heat of that arid land in Water Witcher by using a limited palette and strong black line.
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.   

1 comment:

  1. A treat to see those pictures, Gillian. Since hearing of Jan's death I've pulled out my copies of her books and enjoyed them all again. I'd forgotten that she signed 'Moonlight' for me when I was a very new shop assistant. Bless her.