Lavatory treatment gone wrong! The bizarre, anarchic and very funny adventures of little Jeffrey's toilet! Filled with visual jokes and surreal situations this is one of Nicholas Allan's earlier books (British author and illustrator from Brighton). No real moral in this story, other than the avocado coloured toilets (a nightmare fashion fixture from the sixties and seventies) are really bad...
Nicholas Allan has come up with a few more strange titles over the years ("The Queen's Knickers", "Cinderella's Bum", The Giant's Loo Roll"(!) and many others). Many became best-sellers and some received literary awards. Here's the link to the author's site for a biography and more information: http://www.nicholasallan.co.uk/about.htm
Some more of Randolph Caldercott's exquisite drawings. The whole book is in pieces now but the colours and the quality of the paper are intact. According to Wikipedia "R.S.'s Collection Of Pictures & Songs" came out in 1887. So, for only seven pounds I got myself dozens of these antique illustrations! I love the movement in the characters, the birds and animals portrayed so effortlessly with his flawy lines as well as the emotions and humour displayed in their faces and postures.
This story is called "The Babes In The Wood" and it really is quite scary! The babes do actually die from starvation so no happy end in this one. The drawing skills of the artist and the colouring are so impressive though. His lines are drawn with such sensitivity and confidence that you think the people are about to move. Even the birds and animals are so expressive, adding to the mood of the story. Even though the book is almost falling apart (making it really difficult to scan) the pages and illustrations are in a very good condition and as vibrant as they would have been when new.
This book is a collection of several songs and stories illustrated by Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886). He would have been quite famous at the time of publication of this volume as his name is part of the title! He was a prolific illustrator working in Manchester from a very young age and eventually moving to London. He was a contemporary of Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) and Walter Crane (1845-1915), two very important artists/writers of children's books. Despite dying young, at the age of forty, he left a huge legacy in the field of illustration. His work was greatly admired by Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh among others while he went on to influence 20th century children's illustrators like Maurice Sendak! These three pictures are from a verse called: "The Queen Of Hearts" Here's the Wikipedia link for Randolph Caldecott's biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randolph_Caldecott