Barbara Reid is one of Canada's preeminent author illustrators with nearly 20 books to her credit. Her medium is plasticine and I don't think any other illustrator working in that meduim today matches her craft, humour, or level of detail.
On her home page, you can learn all about her and her books while catching up on the history of plasticine. It's the Portfolio and Students and Teachers links, though, that will provide hours of entertainment. Why? Because not only does Reid encourage kids to tell stories themselves with plasticine, she actually encourages them to plagiarize her work in the process. OK, not really, but she does offer up samples of her art as models to learn by. There's a good deal of student art showcased on the site which means that kids can explore and learn from the styles of other kids. I know that I plan to put a plasticine starter's kit in someone's stocking this year. You're never too young to start your artistic career, right?