Do you love Bugs, Mushrooms, Olga and The Great Antonio? What a coincidence! So does Elise Gravel! Gravel is a Montreal born illustrator who has been drawing since shortly after her birth (according to her blog). Her style developed into colorful cartoonish illustrations and comic strips. She uses her everyday surroundings for inspiration, drawing on people in her neighborhood and bugs…lots of bugs. She says she gets most of her ideas right before sleep which is when her brain is at its most creative which is not at all surprising when you see what fills her books.
Gravel has a great series about animals that many would consider less than endearing. Like head lice. Or toads. Anybody who is squeamish about some of these animals should check them out. You might not run right out and hold a bunch of earthworms but you could come away from her books with a new appreciation of them. I would like her to write one about inchworms so that maybe I can stop freaking out when I find one on my shirt.
For slightly older readers Gravel has a character series called Olga. Olga is funny and smart and finds a mysterious creature she names after herself scientifically but then refers to as Meh. She uses the scientific method to figure out facts about Meh, like what does Meh eat?
Gravel’s web site, www.elisegravel.com , is full of illustrations, free printouts, links to other illustrators and her boutique, blog and portfolio. Start there and then come see us to check out what we have here at Patten Free!
Thanks for reading!