For me, the absolute highlight of the Edinburgh Degree Show 2007 was the work of Laura Darling in the Illustration Department...
Laura Darling: "Eat your peas please, Leonard."
From her book 'Leonard'
Laura has written and illustrated the most wonderful, observant and highly amusing books which will be enjoyed as much by parents as by children. I cannot wait till she gets a publishing deal so I can add her books to my treasured collection. I must just say that the tiny little jpegs I am showing here simply don't do justice to the quality and feel of her illustrations. The really need to be seen on paper and in the context of her witty stories.
Laura Darling: "Don't scuff you feet please, Leonard."
From her book 'Leonard'
The first book I read was the story of 'Leonard' which had me and my mum in fits of giggles. We kept going back for another look. 'Leonard' was Highly Commended in the Macmillan Children's Picture Book Awards. It was so wonderful I had to take Mr P there the next day even though I was pretty ill, and it just got funnier the more I looked at it. Leonard, if I remember correctly, is described as 'a thoroughly deplorable fellow'. Laura's use of language is all part of the charm. Here is Leonard's response to his mum asking him not to scuff his feet. I'm sure a lot of you recognise this scene all too well!...
Laura Darling: From her book 'Leonard'
From her book 'The School Trip'
'The School Trip' is the funniest little story about the ridiculous state of affairs regarding Health and Safety these days. The children are taken on a trip to a farm where they have to wear 'special clothes' and wash their hands, a lot. The way she ties up the story on the last page is just the funniest ending I have ever read. It was really hard trying to laugh quietly in the hushed exhibition space. Luckily her stand was full of equally appreciative visitors so I don't think we were too annoying.
Laura Darling: The Jamie Oliver Effect
For anyone beyond the UK this illustration refers to the story of parents rebelling against Jamie Oliver's healthy School Dinners campaign by passing junk food to their kids through the bars of the school fence! (sorry, that was the 1st junk food link I found and I'm pushed for time).
As well as being in the middle of her Degree Show (which ends tomorrow, Tuesday so run and see it if you can) she is also showing at D&AD New Blood in London from today 'till Wednesday (25-27 June). Next post, degree show jewellery.