There is no question that Fiep Westendorp is one of my all time favorite illustrators. Her illustrations for Annie Schmidt's Jip and Janneke books helped me learn Dutch (as did my sweet and patient host family and the group of pierced and dreadlocked squatter ladies I went to school with).
Armed with my Dutch - English dictionary, I'd sit up in my room in Holland deciphering the stories written for kiddos half my age. The drawings held my interest so intensely that I had to know what the words said.
Just last week I got a care package from Holland and it it were a bunch of Jip and Janneke paraphernalia from the wonderful HEMA store, and I was reminded of my love for Fiep all over again. Next time I visit I'm packing a suitcase full of these books to bring home.
You can see a slew of Fiep's wonderful work at this Flickr site.