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 throughout 2017.

Leonard S. Marcus
Leonard S. Marcus
Leonard S. Marcus’s forthcoming books include Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration (Candlewick) and, as editor, The Kairos Novels (Library of America) by Madeleine L’Engle. His exhibition Garth Williams: Illustrator of the Century opens at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine, on May 1, 2018.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

Elaine Magliaro

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.

Posted : Jun 14, 2017 12:20


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more


We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing