June 11, 2009

Robin Muller

Robin Muller gave a book talk at the Lillian H. Smith Library on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, as part of Toronto's Luminato arts festival. Mr. Muller is an author/illustrator of fairy tales. He spoke about his books and demonstrated his drawing and painting technique.

Mr. Muller began to write after he was unable to find suitable stories for his young niece. He didn't like the portrayal of female characters in most fairy tales. They all seemed very stupid, like Sleeping Beauty, who pricked her finger (but did nothing else), or Snow White, who kept opening the door (and a window!) despite the dwarves' warnings.

Muller wanted to read about real girls and strong princesses, who could think for themselves and take charge of their own futures. So he wrote Mollie Whuppie and the Giant, a retelling of Jack & the Beanstalk. Molly is a clever, proactive girl who saves an entire kingdom. The illustrations, using watercolours, a toothbrush, and pencil crayons emphasize Mollie's heroic qualities.

Muller has a fine sense of humour and a good rapport with children. He encourages active participation and respects each child's opinions. He is a lively and entertaining speaker.

Mr. Muller has written numerous books, among them The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Magic Paintbrush, and The Nightwood.

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