Other Countries and Cultures

 

I have been fortunate during my life to travel extensively. I have been able to live in England and the Carribean for an extended amount of time. I have explored Europe, and had the the chance to visit Africa, Indonesia, and Thailand. Because my husband is Australian, I have made several trips back to his homeland.

When I was illustrating other people's stories, before publishing my own, I was also interested in tales from other lands. You can see this in "The Three Wishes of Hu" which was set in Hong Kong, a city I was to visit in 1988.

Studying a number of my books published in the1970's, 80's and 90's is a good way to see not only that my stories have been influenced by my travels but that these stories have frequently had universal appeal which is why many of them been published in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese.

 

Sydney Opera House
I first heard about Ananse, the main character in my Caldecott Medal winner A Story, A Story while I was living in the Caribbean.
One story I discovered in England was , The Post Office Cat. I based this story on a news item I heard while listening to London radio. The book won The Kate Greenaway Medal and was also very popular and well received in Japan.
Folklore, rites, and rituals like Halloween have always intrigued me. Switzerland provided the source and setting for Go Away, Stay Away and I included notes on multiculturalism at the end of the book.
I started researching The Green Man after seeing an image of the character on a sign hanging over the door outside a London pub (bar). A Parent's Choice book in the U.S. it also received good reviews in Japan. A Scene from The Green Man.

 

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