Shirley Barber's The Enchanted Woods - Hardcover Book and CD
Shirley Barber's The Enchanted Woods
Format : Hardcover book and a CD.
Condition : New
Dimensions : 20cm x 24cm x 1cm
Children will be transported to a magical land when they turn the pages of this beautiful book - and listen to the story on the CD. It all began when Sarah Jane stepped inside a fairy ring! Shirley Barber's exquisite illustrations are loved by children the world over.
About Shirley Barber
Islands are magical places, and Shirley Machon, growing up on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, was always conscious of the special ness of her home place, whether walking down country lanes between banks of wildflowers, or climbing to a windy hilltop with the sea all around her. The little triangular island, only 15 km, on its longest side, has belonged to England since the Norman Conquest, and many stone buildings date from the 11th century. It is an island rich in beauty, with its thatched cottages set in fairytale gardens, ferny dells and rippling streams, and has long been a favourite spot for artists and authors; Victor Hugo had a house on the island, and the annual Eisteddfod still draws visitors from far and wide. Shirley's mother and grandmother were both well known local artists, specializing in portraits and flower studies, and the little girl always knew she would be on too. Her motherencouraged her, supplying materials and drawing outlines for Shirley to colour; gradually as she grew older she found her own style. By the time she was in her teens she was regularly winning prizes at Eisteddfods; an item in a local paper when she was twelve notes prophetically that 'cats, dogs and fairy stories are among Shirley's favourite subjects for illustration. This was during the war years, and Guernsey was under German occupation. There were hardships; curfew, no radio or electricity, and often very little food. Fortunately Shirley's father was a gardener, and the family smallholding supplied most of their needs, with sometimes extra vegetables or eggs for barter - frequently for books! Every evening the family would sit around the hurricane lamp and Mrs. Machon would read 'until her voice gave out'. So Shirley and her younger sister had a rich literary, as well as artistic, background; everything from Victorian novels to the fairy tales of Grimm and Anderson, which were much loved. Shirley especially remembers the illustrations of Rackham and Dulac, and a preference formed very early for pictures full of detail, that 'you could lose yourself in' But in postwar England times were hard, and an artist's life chancy; at eighteen Shirley accepted an 'Art in Industry' bursary for study at the famous Sanderson wallpaper and fabric studios in London. There she met and married another young fabric designer ( Peter Donald Turner ). After the birth of a daughter ( Jackie Turner ) Shirley worked from home, and it was during this time, lonely and homesick in London, that 'Martha B. Rabbit' first appeared. Shirley wrote and illustrated the story for her little girl, putting into it all the details she herself had loved as a child; the fairies, pixies, and talking animals of her imagination, and the woods and cottages of her Guernsey home. She submitted the manuscript to the English publisher, Blackie, but was rejected, and she did not try again.
The family emigrated to Australia in 1965, and Shirley continued to work as a freelance fabric designer. Shirley had another child three years later ( Konrad Machon Turner ), the designer of the web pages you are currently viewing! Shirley is an artist in every aspect; she has worked with clay, and produced exquisite pieces of work, Clay Gnomes which were snapped up as soon as they were made. Later she dabbled with clay again and produced all types of Australian animals in their native habitats. She also painted beautiful pictures, of all sizes, Terrace houses, country vistas, portraits and fairy paintings.
Shirley Barber's The Enchanted Woods