Lois Lowry's Blog
Lloyd and Trina
This, from a blog reader, in reference to the mention I made of Lloyd Alexander appearing as a small cameo in the book "The Fortune Tellers" which Trina Schart Hyman illustrated.
Thank you for telling us this! I had no idea that Lloyd was painted into one of the scenes. I read this book to my elementary school classes each year, and always told the students to look for the monkey and the two geckos.
Ms. Hyman's illustrations are superb beyond words. She captured the colorful patterns of fabrics, and the essences of African markets, to an exquisite degree, without including the depressing poverty and other grim aspects.
Trina was a close friend of mine and it is a pleasure to have one more opportunity to extol her exquisite skill as an illustrator to the world. She often sneaked real people into her illustrations...I guess "sneak" is a poor verb there, because she was not at all clandestine about it. Also appearing in "The Fortune Tellers" are her daughter Katrin, her ex-husband Harris, her son-in-law Eugene, and if I remember correctly (I don't have a copy of the book in front ofme at the moment) her grandson Michou as an infant.
Katrin, Eugene, Michou, another grandson, Xavier, and Trina's partner, Jean, all appear...as does her house and all of her wonderful animals—dogs and cats and sheep and a donkey—in the book that was a Caldecott Honor in 2000, "A Child's Calendar" with poems by John Updike.
I realize that I don't have here, on this laptop, pictures that I took at Trina's just a few months before she died. But perhaps when I am back at my real desk, my real computer, sometime in the future, I might post a few. The old New Hampshire farmouse that she shared with Jean and the animals was such a feast of color—flowers and paintings everywhere—and of great food and books and laughter and so many friends who came and went. No snapshot will ever do that justice. But it would be a good feeling to preserve a few for others to see and get a sense of a life so well and joyfully lived.