you can’t go wrong with: Satoshi Kitamura


Author / illustrator Satoshi Kitamura does all kinds of picture books for children, starting out with board books for small ones, like “dog is thirsty”.

I love his drawing – the lines he draws. There’s a poetry anthology called The Ring of Words he illustrated – it has this most beautiful circle in it, one of my favourite circles. I like circles anyway, but this one has so much of SK’s character in it – it’s a naïve, ambling, affirmative sort of circle. How can you do that with a circle?

His stories are full of the Power of Imagination, full of detail, full of surprises. He’s done a couple of alphabet books too – for instance What’s Inside, which has the next letters of the alphabet lurking on each page waiting to spring.

Although he was born in Tokyo, he’s lived in London for a long time and there’s a London-y feel to lots of his books too. He has caught the colour and mood of the town so well. He says:

“I like physical aspects of London. The buildings, parks, anonymous gardens behind the terraced houses, and their inhabitants like, birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes, cats, dogs and sometimes people. I like the graphics of asphalt surfaces with mended holes, yellow and whilte lines, fallen leaves and footmarks.. I love walking along Hungerford Bridge towards Embankment avoiding the puddles after a good concert in the evening. “

And he keeps churning them out. I haven’t seen the latest ones, but I bet they’re great too.


Here is the circle, with poem inside. You might say, “it’s just a circle”, but to me it seems to be a circle with Satoshi Kitamura’s character in it:

the ring of words


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