Monday, 28 May 2012

"Alphabetario", Illustrations by Costas P. Grammatopoulos, Part 2

This book was published in the late forties (presumably by the Ministry of Education of the time) and was used as an introduction to the Greek language for 6 year-olds. It must have made a strong and lasting impression to the generations of children as the publishers decided, upon many requests, to reprint a new edition in 1993 long after it was removed from the school curriculum. I love the combination of the graphic effect together with the hand-drawn quality - used sparingly, but so expressively. The colouring is very minimalistic and flat, yet used so creatively to illustrate textures, space and shapes.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

"Alphabetario", I.K. Yannelis and G.K. Sakkas, Illustrations by Costas P. Grammatopoulos (published originally in Athens 1948 by Nea Synora - A.A. Livani)

The best book ever! (in the hearts of thousands of Greeks who - like myself - were introduced to the language in the first year at primary school with these wonderful pictures, lovable characters and unique typeface)...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

"Still Life" by Claude Serre (1985), part 2

Just a few more from this sad but deeply philosophical collection of cartoons. Here's a link to the artist's official website (in French I'm afraid but with lots of pictures!): There are several more sites with Serre's work and biography for those - like myself - who don't speak the language.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

"6 White Bloomers" and "Waltzing Matilda", Sung by Rolf Harris, Illustrations by David Smee, EMI RECORDS, London 1965

In view of the opening of Rolf Harris's retrospective exhibition at the Walker Gallery in Liverpool today, here's a little something from my own collection: A1965 single by the artist himself (illustrated not by himself but by David Smee). I presume that it's music for children as I no longer own a record-player myself (!) - I only bought it for its cover a few years ago. Record covers are to be included at the show along with other memorabilia by the artist so this one may be featured as well. Here's a link about the exhibition from BBC News:

Thursday, 10 May 2012

"Mr Rabbit And The Lovely Present", Charlotte Zolotow, Illustrated by Maurice Sendak, Part 2

Soft, atmospheric pictures, so suitable for this deep and meaningful story about a girl wondering what present to get for her mother's birthday. She goes to Mr Rabbit for help and together they work out the pros and cons of various possibilities. Quite a philosophical and ambiguous story really, one designed to encourage young - and old - readers to think more about the value of the simple things in life as opposed to what is on offer in our present materialistic world. I love the restricted palette of pale yellows, pinks and blues the artist uses - one to be made more famous with "Where The Wild Thing Are" a year later. The impressionist style adds even further to the contemplative mood of the narrative.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

"Mr Rabbit And The Lovely Present" by Charlotte Zolotow, Illustrated by Maurice Sendak (Puffin Books, Penguin Books Ltd, London 1987)

I was going to feature a different book but with Maurice Sendak's death news today this seemed more suitable... This book was first published in 1962 in the US and then in Britain in 1968 by Bodley Head. My book is a 1987 reprint.