The books I loved most as a little girl had two elements in common: lovely and colourful pictures, and enchanting stories. The stuff of wonderful daydreams that made childhood magical. As the years have passed, I've found that through their vivid imagery and words, these affections have remained firmly embedded in the mind and in the heart.
So what a treat is to continue the tradition, thanks to Birds of a Feather Shop Together, a gorgeous and witty book of 'Aesop's Fables for the Fashionable Set', adapted by author Sandra Bark who serves up life lessons with delicious fashion savvy. Bil Donovan masterfully brings the fables to life with his vibrant watercolour and ink illustrations, taking the anthology from bookshelf to proud display.
It's such a joy to read; a fashion and beauty indulgence that feels a bit of a guilty pleasure until you reach the end of the tale and see that fashion and morals can indeed coexist! The original stories are found at the back of the book, though once you've read Bark's there's no going back.
This book has become one of my daughter's favourites, and when I have to put it down because it's bedtime, she invariably reaches over and opens it back up to have a longer look at Bil's illustration for that story. I love that this book is one she'll remember for the rest of her life.
Birds of a Feather Shop Together is a hardcover book (the cover has a gorgeous texture with brilliant colour saturation), published by Harper Collins, and includes 17 illustrated stories plus their originals. It is available to buy for £12.95.
Huge thanks to Bil Donovan for introducing me to this beautiful book. It is much loved.
About the author and illustrator:
Sandra Bark is a New York Times bestselling author who collaborates on books with notable figures. The founder and curator of the street art blog the Scenic Sidewalk, Sandra lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Bil Donovan is a fashion illustrator whose work has appeared in various publications and advertising campaigns worldwide. A brand ambassador for Christian Dior Beauty, he teaches fashion illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is the author of Advanced Fashion Drawing: Lifestyle Illustration and illustrator of The Dress Doctor. He lives in New York City.
Here's a look at some of the stunning story illustrations from the book, by Bil Donovan:
'Birds of a Feather'
Images provided courtesy of Bil Donovan