Monday 29 August 2011

New book - 'Jim Henson - The Guy Who Played with Puppets'

I've just received a new book 'Jim Henson - The Guy who Played with Puppets' by Kathleen Krull. Released last Tuesday (Aug 23rd) it's a well written child orientated book which covers the milestones in Jim Henson's life. Kathleen Krull has a nice approachable writing style and its a good introduction to Jim's life for children. However its not the words that impressed me about it. The moment I opened the package I was stunned by the absolutely gorgeous portrait on the cover. The illustrators, husband and wife team Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, have created the most wonderfully soothing and beautiful illustrations that I have seen in a long time, and certainly in my opinion the best illustration/caricature of Jim Henson that I have ever seen.
Throughout the book are page after page of warm and almost nostalgic illustrations that illuminate Krull's text and seem to somehow fit the ethos of Jim Henson and the Muppet's perfectly. They create the atmosphere of this calm nature that Henson was so known for and set the mood for a life that was filled with imagination and creativity. The style of Johnson and Fancher fit the Muppet's like a glove, they remind me very much of the beautifully illustrated Muppet books by Bruce McNally - he understood the ethos and theme behind the Muppet's also; that aside from all the craziness, deep down there is that rooted sentimentality and sense of family and happiness. The illustrations in this new book capture that perfectly and if you are a fan of Jim Henson's work or just good illustrations I urge you to get this. You won't learn anything new about Jim but you'll love looking through it.
Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have illustrated over thirty books to date and you can see more of their work here . Jim Henson - The Guy Who Played with Puppets' can be bought here  

Though not many caricaturists seem to have attempted Jim Henson as compared to other famous faces, there are still a few out there which I have collected over the years. Some are very clever, some work well and some slightly miss the mark - see what you think from the selection below....

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