Few people have contributed as much to children’s books as Helen Oxenbury. Best known for illustrating Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, she has also won the Kate Greenaway Medal twice (most recently for her wistful, contemporary take on Alice in Wonderland) and pioneered (arguably invented) picture board books for babies.
Tiny Tim is a quirky book of poems collected by Jill Bennett and published by Picture Lions in 1984. With stylistically varied contributions from Michael Rosen, James Reeve and Joan Aiken’s dad Conrad. It’s a great showcase for Oxenbury’s work.
Both words and pictures are inventive, witty and varied in style. Full page watercolours sit opposite simple characterful figures set against a plain white background, a trademark Oxenbury technique that works brilliantly with the text.
The collection ranges from silly to scary.
To the hilariously macabre.
And the downright bizarre.
If there was still any doubt remaining about the intentions of Oxenbury’s famous bear, look no further.