Hamish Vigne Christie (Korky Paul) Paul (1951-)
Award-winning British author and illustrator Hamish Vigne Christie Paul, who uses the pseudonym Korky Paul, is known for his humorous, cartoon-like illustrations and imaginative pop-up books. He may be best known for illustrating Valerie Thomas's books about a whimsical witch named Winnie. "These stories are much loved by the three-to-seven age group," Lyn Gardner noted in the Guardian, and "it is Paul's wild, exuberant, detailed illustrations that are intrinsic to their appeal."
In one entry in the "Winnie" series, Winnie Flies Again, the little witch keeps flying into things on her broom. She abandons the sky for the ground but continues to have numerous mishaps, riding her bike into a pond, snagging a low-hanging branch while riding a horse, and falling through an open manhole while walking down the street. Finally, the saleslady in an eyeglasses shop figures out what the problem is and sells Winnie a pair of glasses. The story is not very complicated, but "Paul's busy cartoons are packed with visual jokes," Kathleen Kelly MacMillan wrote in School Library Journal. Winnie's broom is not just a simple stick: it has a bicycle seat, stirrups, and headlights. In the eyeglass shop, a pirate, complete with eye patch, searches for one-lensed sunglasses. Paul's "line drawings … seem to grow more detailed with rereadings," thought a Publishers Weekly reviewer, who went on to claim they "are full of surprises."
Paul's sense of humor is also apparent in his "droll depiction of the fish's wishful life" in The Fish Who Could Wish, noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer. In this story by John Bush, there is a fish whose wishes come true. He wishes for many unusual things: a sports car, nice clothes, even for a ski trip. (In the illustration where the fish gets to ski, the reader finds a snowman casting a line while wearing a diving mask.) But the fish's wishing comes to an end when he wishes that he could be more like the other fish: "But wishing was something / Other fish could not do. / So that was his very last / wish that came true." Calling Paul's artwork an "ideal complement" to Bush's text, School Library Journal critic Denise Anton Wright predicted that "young children will be fascinated with the theme and humorous illustrations."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Bush, John, The Fish Who Could Wish, illustrated by Korky Paul, Kane/Miller (Brooklyn, NY), 1991.
Children's Literature Review, Volume 87, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2003.
Booklist, February 1, 1993, Ilene Cooper, review of Professor Puffendorf's Secret Potions, pp. 990-991.
Guardian (London, England), May 12, 1998, review of Brer Rabbit: The Great Tug-o-War, p. 3.
Independent (London, England), January 30, 1997, Louise Levene, interview with Paul, p. 10.
New York Times Book Review, July 4, 1982, Barbara Karlin, review of The Crocodile and the Dumper Truck, p. 13.
People, October 28, 1991, Susan Toepfer, review of The Pop-Up Book of Ghost Tales, p. 33.
Publishers Weekly, February 5, 1982, review of The Crocodile and the Dumper Truck, p. 387; February 3, 1984, review of Pop-Up Numbers, p. 402; October 30, 1987, review of Winnie the Witch, p. 68; April 26, 1991, review of The Fish Who Could Wish, p. 59; July 13, 1992, review of Professor Puffendorf's Secret Potions, pp. 55-56; May 17, 1993, review of Mrs. Wolf, p. 80; February 9, 1998, review of Aesop's Funky Fables, pp. 95-96; March 27, 2000, review of Winnie Flies Again, p. 79.
School Library Journal, October, 1990, Ruth Smith, review of Dinner with Fox, p. 105; August, 1991, Denise Anton Wright, review of The Fish Who Could Wish, p. 143; January, 1992, Carolyn Noah, review of School Can Wait, pp. 108-109; December, 1997, Susan Hepler, review of WinnieinWinter, pp. 101-102; August, 1998, Susan M. Moore, review of Sanji and the Baker, pp. 146-147; July, 2000, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of Winnie Flies Again, p. 88; October, 2001, Sally R. Dow, review of Pet Poems, pp. 138-139.
Korky Paul Home Page, http://www.korkypaul.com/ (January 14, 2004).
Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographyHamish Vigne Christie (Korky Paul) Paul (1951-) Biography - Awards, Honors, Sidelights - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress