Perhaps once in every generation an artist will stamp their personality on to a children’s book. In the 1990’s that book was “Guess How Much I Love you” by Sam McBratney which is as with much loved for its illustrations as its words.
Many of our greatest Children’s Classics have been born as a collaboration between writer and illustrator. When we think of Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll 1865) we always imagine John Tenniel’s illustrations of the little girl with flowing blond hair:
Original study for Alice 1864 from Houghton Library
When we think of Beatrix Potter’s books images of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddle Duck come flowing into our minds
We cannot imagine Wind in the Willows (by Kenneth Grahame1908) without simultaneously remembering E H Shepard’s pictures of Toad
Toad of Toad Hall by E H Shepard 1908
If we think of Winnie the Pooh (by A A Milne 1926) we again think of E H Shepard’s illustrations
Pooh and Piglet by E H Shepard 1926
Peggy Fortnum has cemented her images of Paddington bear on to Michael Bond’s words
‘A Bear Called Paddington’ illustration Peggy Fortnum 1958
and when we think of Guess How Much I Love You by Sam MacBratney we immediately conjure up Anita Jeram’s pictures of The Little Nut Brown Hare with his dad. The book is already a classic that children who grew up in the 1990s are now sharing with their own children.
In many peoples’ mind Anita’s illustrations and Two Bad Mice cards are inseparable. We have sold about 25 million of Anita’s cards across the world since we started working with Anita in 1994. Most Greeting Cards have a shelf life of five years or less before they are discontinued and become the forgotten Ephemera of our pasts. Anita’s cards have broken that rule, for instance Cloud Watching which was released in 1997, is still a best seller in 2019.