Fittingly, today is the birthday of both the character Harry Potter and his author, J.K. Rowling. The scene I chose to illustrate is Hagrid arriving to give Harry his Hogwarts letter and a rather battered birthday cake. I could go on and on about how much I love, love, love Harry Potter, but I'll just mention two things that I admire about this series. First, the characters are so well written, I feel like I know them. Even the minor characters are well rounded, with strengths and weaknesses. Every few years when a book came out, it was like a visit with old friends. I really miss that. (The Qudditch World Cup article on Pottermore was a nice treat this year.) Secondly, I am forever grateful that Harry Potter made reading a shared experience. Suddenly, my friends were interested in reading books.
I love the Graveyard Book. It is a wonderful example of an author (Neil Gaiman) taking something old (Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book) and making it his own. There isn't a wasted sentence or turn of phrase, and I was very happy that it was recognized by the Newbery Award committee. (Sometimes fantastic books get ignored by award committees.) I love the characters, in particular Silas, who doesn't eat bananas, and Bod, the kid growing up in the wilds of the graveyard. It might not happen, and I wouldn't want it to happen unless Mr. Gaiman thinks it can be as good as this one, but since there are two Jungle Books, I hope that maybe one day, there will be two Graveyard Books. It had a great ending, but it was one of those books that I didn't want to leave behind on the last page. I tried to depict the graveyard a grey, misty place with just a hint of color. I imagine Silas as the darkest thing on a dark night. My scene is from chapter 2, when he brings Bod books and teaches him to read with gravestone letters.
I'm an aspiring author / illustrator.