Thursday, 27 April 2017

"English Villages And Hamlets" By Humphrey Pakington, Cover By Brian Cook, Illustrated By Sydney R. Jones (published by B. T. Batsford Ltd, London 1934, this edition 1941) Part 3

Some of the black and white illustrations in this book by Sydney R. Jones - an excellent draughtsman capturing the atmosphere as well as all architectural details from all those beautiful and unspoiled parts of pre-war England. The book also includes a number of really good photographs but I feel these drawings bring them to life. It is interesting to see how the humble roads enhance the architecture of the villages - by comparison, today's heavily tarmacked roads (made to serve the enormous haulage lorries passing through), ugly lamp posts, pedestrian crossings, signage etc managed to completely ruin the character of most rural areas. Town planners call it "progress"!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

"The Puffin Book Of Nursery Rhymes" By Iona and Peter Opie, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes (published by Penguin Books Ltd, 1963) - Part 3

The fabulous and inspiring illustrations of British artist, Pauline Baynes (1922-2008). She is of course better known for her work on J. R. R. Tolkien's books ("Farmer Giles Of Ham"1949, "The Adventures Of Tom Bombadil"1962, "Smith Of Wootton Major"1967 and "Tree And Leaf"1964) and C. S. Lewis's "The Chronicles Of Narnia"(1950-56). This book contains dozens of these beautiful pen & ink drawings. Her lines are so elegant and effortless but so descriptive of the subject. Not many illustrators can draw to such high standard.  Here's the link for her own website and biography which has a huge collection of her work:

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

"Tiramola" comics by Roberto Renzi (published in Greece by KABANAS-HELLAS, 1970's)

Couldn't resist in showing parts of this tattered comic from my childhood - many fond memories of this bizarre elastic superhero who can take any shape, expand, become liquid, spring, string etc in order to escape from and capture the bad guys. This was an Italian comic created back in 1952 by Roberto Renzi (born 1923) but became extremely popular in Greece and ran for decades. You can see lots of wonderful Tiramola covers on this Greek website:
Also this article on wikipedia:

Sunday, 26 March 2017

"Wonderbus 7 - Perry Colour Books" Illustrated By Leslie Butler (published by Powell Perry c1942-44, Putney UK) - Part 4

This is a very strange and eccentric book - but the pictures are just beautiful. I was really lucky to find it - and it hardly cost me anything! It was published some time during World War II by a little known publisher, Powell Perry. At the time he was an officer based in Farnham Castle, in charge of producing camouflage work for the British army. Apparently, he then employed the camouflage artists supplied the Women's Voluntary Services to illustrate picture books for children - his family having a printing business in Putney! Unfortunately there isn't much information about how many titles were published, what years exactly or anything on the man himself and the artists even though their books are of superb quality. I got this information from Joe Pearson's excellent website:

Monday, 6 March 2017

"Richard Scarry's Best Story Book Ever" By Richard Scarry (First published in 1970 by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, Third Impression 1972) Part 4

This book is a compilation of several older stories by the famous American author/illustrator Richard Scarry (1919-1994), ranging from 1950 to 1968. This explains the variation in drawing styles and structure in the stories themselves. Apart from the great colours and compositions, the clarity in the stories and visual humour Scarry's drawing skills are just incredible! Every object is so well observed, the shapes,textures and patterns so accurate, yet the pictures appear to be simple and easy to the eye - just perfect for the young reader. Just look at those frogs above - exciting, funny and yet quite realistic! Classic.