I've been thinking about a book I love called Star Mother's Youngest Child. It's a Christmas story and is a beautiful and intricate tale about everything that matters. Star Mother's youngest child wants to celebrate Christmas. When he lands on Earth at the home of a grumpy old woman, against all odds, they experience a gorgeous and meaningful celebration together.
I think one of the reasons I'm thinking of this book is because of the old woman character. If I remember correctly (unfortunately I do not own a copy of this beloved book), she was so old that everyone had forgotten about her, and cranky in her loneliness. I've been thinking about people who are alone and forgotten during this pandemic and time of isolation, perhaps feeling cranky like the woman in the story. I know I would be feeling that way.
The story, by Louise Moeri, is enhanced by illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman. Her work and career are so astounding. I own several books which she illustrated, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, A Child's Calendar, A Child's Christmas in Wales and Peter Pan, but there are so many more. I'm sure there have been retrospectives of her work, but I've never been to one, and would love to see a show like that. She illustrated over 150 books, and won the Caldecott award, as well as being the first art director of Cricket magazine.
I once saw her speak, many years ago, and something that sticks in my mind is her work ethic. She mentioned that her daughter had once said that when she woke up in the morning, her mother was working on her illustrations, and when she went to bed at night, she was still working on them. I also remember her saying that she lived in Sweden for a time when she was young, and found out in the forests that elves and trolls and fairies really did exist.
I hope you take a look at her fabulous work. As for me, it's time to order a copy of Star Mother's Youngest Child. The original publication date is 1975, but there is a 2005 Anniversary Edition, fortunately. By the way, my copy of The Beast of Monsieur Racine should arrive next week!