Children’s Library: The Illustrations of P.J. Lynch
February 9, 2011, Epoch Times
Offering artistic excellence to the most impressionable readers
The artistic standard exhibited in the illustrations of today’s children’s literature varies widely, from seemingly amateur doodles to true works of fine art. At the pinnacle of such offerings are the stunning creations of award-winning illustrator P.J. Lynch.
For over 20 years, Northern Ireland’s Lynch has been lending his extraordinary talent and diligent pursuit of accuracy and sentiment to classic and historical children’s books. “I’ve mostly done classic stories. … I enjoy the feeling of nostalgia you get with a slightly older story,” he told the BBC’s “The Hungry Eye” in a 2008 interview.
His illustrations (mostly watercolour, sometimes oil) are realistic, intricately detailed, and moving, transporting the reader into scenes to an extent few other efforts could.
“I liked the idea that my books might be enjoyed by any age group, so I have always been careful never to patronize my audience, and I try to get right into the emotional heart of each story I illustrate,” Lynch said in an interview with the Irish Independent.
His work has accompanied such classics as Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen; W. B. Yeats’ Fairy Tales of Ireland; Charles Dickens‘ A Christmas Carol; and O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, as well as newer classics such as the heart-warmingThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomeyby Susan Wojciechowskis.
Most recently, Lynch has illustrated the biographical Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells and this month’s voluminous release The Story of Britain by Patrick Dillon.
“I am attracted to a story that has compelling characters and situations, and a well thought out overall structure,” Lynch told Illustrators Ireland in 2009.
Lynch has garnered praise for his work throughout his career, winning many industry awards, including the Mother Goose Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, and the Christopher Medal.
Lynch’s proven name and beautiful artwork on a children’s book cover is akin to a stamp of excellence. Each and any of his works are deserving of a spot on The Top Shelf.