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BGHB at 50: Cold Feet by Cynthia DeFelice, illus. by Robert Andrew Parker

As a 2001 Boston Globe-Horn Book judge, I had the pleasure of honoring Cynthia DeFelice and Robert Andrew Parker for their picture book Cold Feet, a deliciously creepy retelling of a Scottish ghost story. I liked everything about the book, but here I want to give a tip of my hat to Parker, who I have long felt is one of our finest and most underappreciated illustrators. During a career that is now in its seventh decade, Parker has been a painter, New Yorker illustrator, and picture book artist, and has somehow always flown a little bit under the radar. (Ironically, one of the first children’s books he illustrated was Melvin B. Zisfein’s Flight, a deeply researched history of aviation.) Parker’s drawings have a freedom of line and spirit, and a dead-on inevitability, that I associate with Edward Ardizzone and only a very few other illustrators of our time. There’s more art — and life — in a Parker drawing than in a lot of the shinier objects coming down the pike, often taking the big prizes as they go. I invite readers to take a “second look” at the art of Robert Andrew Parker.

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, established in 1967, we will be publishing a series of appreciations of BGHB winners and honorees from the past. Further installments will appear in the Magazine and on hbook.com/bghb throughout 2017.

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About Leonard S. Marcus

Leonard S. Marcus is, most recently, the editor of Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work and the author of Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing (Foster/Farrar).

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Comments

  1. Love this book! I used to read it aloud to some classes when I was a school librarian. My students thought it was “deliciously creepy” too.

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