One of my favourite books when I was little was "Sing a Song of Everything" by Rosemary Garland. It is a cheery children's book full of poems about animals and children. However, as nice as Rosemary's poems were it was the illustrations that had me transfixed. They were, as far as I was concerned, pure bliss and I used to gaze at them regularly drinking in the sweet characters and vivid colours of Mirko Hanak's work. His watercolours in this book are like a cross between Chinese traditional watercolours and vibrant 1960s / 1970s illustrations from Europe.
Mirko was born in 1921 in Prague, The Czech Republic and worked as a painter, graphic designer and illustrator. His specialties were animals and human figures that were full of life and fun. He also had a firm grasp on composition as his paintings were so well balanced despite his casual fluid line. He was working on "Charlotte's Web" the movie when he tragically died at the height of his career from leukemia in 1971.
In the illustrations here you can see his interpretations of Rosemary Garland's simple poems. I highly recommend this book and any children's book illustrated by Hanak for your little ones - there's no nicer way to be introduced to art and colour than through his glorious illustrations . They certainly left an impression on me.