I’ve been trying to remember Joan Aiken’s name for about 3 months, and last night I sat up in bed and exclaimed it out loud!
The reason I was so keen to remember it is that Joan wrote a book that I loved in the 1970s : it was a book of Eastern European folk-tales. The book was beautifully written and wonderfully illustrated, and I was trying to explain to an artist friend of mine the kind of feel I wanted to create in a book I was thinking about writing. I wanted to use Joan’s book as an example, but the author, illustrator and title eluded me (until last night!)
This morning, I Googled Joan and found that, although she died in 2004, her daughter, Lizza, has created a website in her memory, celebrating her life, her work and her illustrators. I was able to find the book from my childhood (and the illustrator) with ease.
The book was called “The Kingdom Under The Sea And Other Stories” and the illustrator was none other than Jan Pieńkowski . I’d call it a magic book : I don’t know where it came from, I’m not exactly sure when I got it, and I don’t know where it went. All I know is, it left a footprint that has remained after all these years.
For today’s adventure, I emailed Lizza to let her know how I had loved her mother’s book and how that book has remained with me for such a long time.
(Oh – and when I fell back to sleep , I had a dream-and-a-half! … You can hear all about it in today’s video-blog 🙂 ).
I am just going outside and may be some time.