When we were children, my sister and I wrote and drew all the time. If there was no paper – and there often wasn’t, or we needed to draw late at night, in bed, we drew in the very books we’d been reading. Here for example, are various princesses as they do their hair or cry or get ready for the ball.These drawings are inside my beloved Fairy Tales of Long Ago. While my father read us tales from this book, such as Soria Moria Castle, and The Fair with the Golden Hair, we would wait anxiously for the next illustration and when it appeared, stare avidly at it. The illustrations brought the story to life.
Drawing was easier than writing when I was little because I had to think so hard about spelling when I wrote. I could just look at the picture as I drew and see the story I was thinking about in my head, which was marvellous. Children should have the opportunity to look at pictures and to draw pictures too as part of their creative writing process.
I wonder how many of my fellow writers wrote and illustrated their own books when they were small? I’d love to hear from them if they did. And see the books!
Books seemed more fun in the past, more enticing to hold and to cherish (and fill with our own art). Here are the endpapers in The Mermaid and the Simpleton by Barbara Leonie Picard. The illustrations are by Philip Gough. I can immediately see several stories here.