...The Iron Man by Ted Hughes and illustrated by Laura Carlin.

i thought today i'd do a post on what i was reading. i don't get the chance to read very much a the minute. It seems it's all baby books or cook books. which is fine but it's quite nice to read something for myself....even though it is a children's book!
this book is beautifully illustrated. laura carlin is an illustrator i really admire - her work is truly stunning. you should look at more of her work here. and i'm hoping to buy something from her 2012 ceramic sale soon. her 2011 sale completely sold out...and you can see why! amazing stuff.

the story is a beautiful and poignant one. Faber & Faber first published it in 1968. ted hughes originally wrote the story to comfort his children after Sylvia Plath's suicide. It's a much loved children's classic, known as a story to be told in five nights, the prose lending itself to be read aloud. However it also provides a narrative that has continued to resonate with adults - a criticism of human conflict.
The villagers do not greet the unexpected arrival of the Iron Man warmly. Only the little boy Hogath helps the giant 'metal man' leading him to the scrap yard where he can feast on the mountains of old stoves, fridges trucks and railway engines. The rest of humanity do their best to destroy him. Then one day an even more frightening creature arrives - the fierce and terrible space-bat-angel-dragon, who can only be stopped by the Iron Man...

Laura Carlin has depicted the Iron Man with a shadow showing that he is a 'real' being. The pencil drawn villagers only receive a shadow at the end of the story. it's beautifully interpreted by her. she uses stunning details, foldouts and paper cuts to full effect. if you can get hold of the version i think it's really worth having.

footnote: stanley you can see if not yet allowed to look {eat/tear} at this book. and when he can sit still for longer than 5 seconds i will read it to him ;-)

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