Trisha Krauss is an illustrator who began her career in New York City. She now lives in London where she illustrated her first book for Puffin, Maude the Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton by Lauren Child. This year she wrote and illustrated Charlotte’s Very Own Dress for Random House USA, which will be published in Autumn of 2016. She is currently working on ideas for two more books.
Three books that influenced Trisha Krauss:
1. The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright
One of my favourite books as a child was The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright. When I reread it as an adult I was equally smitten. The pictures throughout the book are black and white photographs and they feature three very unsuspecting characters. Edith is a doll who pines for company until Mr. Bear and Little Bear come to her rescue. Her soft felt features serve almost as a blank canvas in which the author tells this rather melancholic and beautifully timed tale. The mystery and glamour of the settings breath air into this Lenci doll and make her an unforgettable and slightly naughty character. The image of Edith holding Little Bear’s hand while facing Brooklyn Bridge in the fog is breathtakingly poignant. Who would have known that this little doll could still conjure up so much feeling in the heart of this grown up girl?
2. Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber
If I could have married Lyle, Lyle Crocodile I would have. He has all the qualities that I love in a person. Above all he is fun and good-hearted. Unfortunately he is a crocodile, a fictional character at that, and I am already married. I love him for life regardless. Lyle has no idea that he is different, largely because the Primm family on East 88th Street treat him like part of the family. He cannot for the life of him understand why Loretta, the neighbour’s cat, takes issue with the mere sight of him and desperately tries to win her over. The story takes you from a brownstone in New York to the park and various places in the city. Ultimately Lyle goes to a big department store with Mrs. Primm, handbag tucked under her arm, and a series of wonderfully silly events take place. The beautiful, inky illustrations in this book gave me my first love for a crocodile and for New York City. Thank you Mr. Waber for Lyle, Lyle Crocodile.
3. Wild by Emily Hughes
I could list another 10 books that my mother read to me as my all time favourites but this book, Wild, has stopped me in my tracks. It is simply splendid. The illustrations have a sweeping Mary Blair inspired magnificence to them. There is also a retro Golden Book feel to the wild animals illustrated on uncoated paper with an ink-saturated paper smell. As an illustrator, I am in awe of the artistry of the illustrations. As an author, I am impressed with the simple text backed up by beautifully rendered art. The main character is unnamed in the book and she has crazy, expressive, enormous eyes. There are twigs and dried leaves in her tangled hair and she is naked throughout the book until “They” try to tame her. Emily Hughes found her character and went wild with her. And she is right, “You cannot tame something so happily wild”…
You may be interested in my post on Maude, The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton, illustrated by Trisha Krauss. It’s a favorite from the archives!