Friday, 6 May 2011

S is for... Slinky Malinki

Slinky Malinki is a cat – a bold fearless adventurous cat – who can open doors and steal slippers. He is brought to life by New Zealand’s bestselling children’s author / artist Lynley Dodd, as part of a series of brilliantly rhyming picture books which also includes Hairy Maclary (from Donaldson’s Dairy).

Wonderful names and brilliant rhymes abound throughout Lynley Dodd’s work – you can sense a real joy behind her use of language – and this gives the reader, whether child or adult, the same happiness. She plays with words in the same vein as Dr Seuss but sets them in reality – so the stories take everyday situations and inject them with a bit of rhyming magic. Her illustrations of cats and dogs are beautifully realised – scrappy dogs, sniffing dogs, slinking cats, superior cats.

As for Slinky Malinki – I love the name so much! Every cat owner knows a Slinky Malinki, just as I’m sure every dog owner knows a Hairy Maclary.

Slinky Malinki (but the author has written many other books)
Author / Artist: Dame Lynley Dodd
Published: This book published in 1990

Illustration fact one: Shirley Hughes, creator of Alfie and Moving Molly, is my favourite children’s illustrator. Her characters expressions are perfect; their clothes and surroundings wonderful.

Illustration fact two: Other favourite illustrators include Edward Ardizzone, Arthur Rackham, Ruth Brown, Graham Oakley, Jill Barklem, Shaun Tan, Dave McKean, Lauren Child, Jason Cockcroft.

Illustration fact three: I’m a BA (Hons), with a degree in Two-dimensional design (focusing on illustration). I have held three exhibitions of my work. My style is mixed media, main influence German expressionism.

Illustration fact four: I love and adore illustration and will often buy books purely based on either the illustrations or cover art. I can recognise the style of my favourite illustrators from ten paces.

Illustration fact five: I used to have a stall on a farmer’s market selling my hand-made cards and illustrations (and a shop in Shoreditch). I still remember how happy I was when I sold my first print - it was of the Louvre in Paris, and the person who bought it said it would be a birthday present for her sister. I hope she liked it!


Old Kitty said...

What happened to your stall and your shop??Sounds amazing!!!! I hope you continue to illustrate and make lovely cards!!! Yay for you! Ooh you may even illustrate your own book cover soon!! Wow!! That'd be lovely!

Yay for slinky maniki!! Take care

Tyrean Martinson said...

We love Slinky Malinki! At first we bought it because it carried the same name as one of our cats, and then we just loved it for all those features you mentioned.
By the way, I'm hosting a one day only Blessings Blogfest on May 31st - if you would like to sign up, just follow this link:

Out on the prairie said...

As soon as I saw the sillohette of that cat I thought of a burmese a neighbor had, who was always getting into things.

Sophia said...

I love finding out writers have other creative pursuits in their lives. I'm with Old Kitty, selling your illustrations at a market sounds awesome. In another life I got a BA in Illustration instead of English and History, le sigh.
- Sophia.

Eliza said...

I love those Slinky Malinki illustrations, my Molly cat could pose for a few of those :-)

Golden Eagle said...

I've never heard of Slinky Malinki before--he sounds like a fun character, though! And I love the illustrations you posted.

How cool that you had your own stall!

Dolly said...

I didn't know you had art qualifications in areas that are of such interest to me. Fascinating! I agree with most of your list of artists who illustrate children's books. I adore kids' books and spend much time in the children's library here in Cork. The librarian is wonderful!

I'm finishing off some wall hangings to sell at a market on Sunday. It really is such a great feeling when someone buys your work isn't it. Oh yeh, I love Slinky Malinky too!

Joanne Ganley said...

I just love Slinky Malinky, mainly because I used to read it to my daughter.

penandpaints said...

Wow, I didn't know you had an art degree! That's brilliant.

I love illustrations on some children's books, the details and the colours bring a story to life. That would be a dream job.

Slinky Malinky is a great name, the sort of thing I wish I'd thought of!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Yes, Slinki Malinki is a great name for a cat. I can just see the cat in question. Loved your illustration facts, and I enjoyed getting to know new things about you. Like Old Kitty, I'd like to know what happened to your stall and whether you still make cards.

catdownunder said... Slinky Malinki! Like all really good picture books it has lasted for years.
Also, love the detail in Mairi Hedderwick's books. There is so much for a child to observe and she has a wonderful sense of humour as well.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds charming. It makes me want to go to the library and peruse picture books, which I do occasionally.

I didn't know you were an artist.

Have a great weekend.

snafu said...

Sounds like a fun book. Lovely pictures and great name, did you know Malinki is Russian for small or little as in Malinki mahlchik, little boy?

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, I don't know this cat! Off to add to my wishlist... My excuse is that I can get the book for my nieces and nephew [g]

Alex Villasante said...

My daughter (and I) loved Hairy Mclarey (from Donaldson's Dairy), so I'll have to check out Slinky Malinky!

Auto Title Loans said...

The ability to recognize your favorites is quite an accomplishment! Do you take the same sort of approach with your illustrations to make them distinct and noticeable? I LOVED Dr. Suess growing up, so this sounds like a fun read. I might have to get it for my daughter (because what would a thirty year-old be doing with a Dr.-esque book?) :)

Rose said...

I didn't know you used to have stalls etc- well why would I I guess? that sounds like so much fun though hard work I'm sure. I love Slinky Malinky too, such great expressions