When I was a little girl, among the most popular children's books was the Marika series (translated Marika which was originally "Martine") written by Gilbert Delahaye and illustrated by Marcel Marlier.
I was so in love with Marika and her adventures I knew the stories by heart and could get lost for hours, reading and re-reading every single page and studying the illustrations of Marcel. That man had left a strong imprint on my childhood with his illustrations.
The first one, Martine à la ferme (Martine at the farm), was published in 1954, followed by 59 other books, which have been translated into many different languages. The book series has sold about 100 million copies and is one of the best selling book series.
When the author Gilbert Delahaye died in 1997, Jean-Louis Marlier, the son of Marcel Marlier, continued to write the stories. I have a couple of the new ones in my possession - I bought them for my children. However, the series was interrupted in 2011 when the illustrator Marcel Marlier died at the age of 80. The last book is the 60th, Martine et le prince mystérieux, published in 2010.
I have managed to keep a lot of my childhood favourite books -unfortunately one or two from the Marika series (they mysteriously disappeared) so this fall when I saw a bunch of used ones in an old bookshop I decided to collect them all again.
Until I collect them all, I feast my eyes with the beautiful drawings I pin on my board here.