I really like the work of Marie Mahler, a French illustrator now living and working in Brussels.
She works in oil pastels and colour pencils and collage—the originals measure about 20 x 20 cm. Best-known for her children's books (published by Didier Jeunesse, Mango, Lito, among others), she also does other illustration work, including: editorial (including Milan), stationery and cards, and toy and game illustration for Djeco,the wonderful French toymakers.
These images are from her beautiful book Kalimagier. This picture book, published jointly by Ricochet (France) and Lazhari Labter Editions (Algeria), was inspired by words that cross over from the French language to the Arabic and back again — indeed, "kalima" means word in Arabic, and "imagier" is French for a sort of picture dictionary. This includes words like Zarafa (giraffe), Quoton (cotton), guitar, café and so on — 100 words in all.
If you happen to be in Paris you can see the originals, now on show at Galerie Jeanne Robillard until 2 July.
But if not, you can always look at this video, which includes a really interesting interview with Marie (in French), plus a virtual tour of the images and the gallery. Don't miss it!