Well, while I am waiting for production to continue on Where Lily Isn’t (the designer at the publishing house just left, so the search is on for a replacement, *sigh*…) I will entertain both you and myself by looking through the books in my kid lit collection.
Today I pulled out a book that was a gift from a friend – A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin (The Heritage Press: 1944). Lucky for me she had two in her collection.
I have a few books illustrated by Duvoisin (you may know his work from his 1950 book Petunia). His drawings are joyful and loose, sometimes on the edge of silly. His illustrations are from the era when colored images were prepared for printing by separating them manually into multiple plates (as would be done in traditional printmaking). The plates were then printed in individual ink tones, usually including a yellow, a red, a blue or green, and black. The results create an appealingly limited palette of graphic shapes and patterns. I am a fan!
Below from ‘Foreign Lands’:
I love how the girl’s feet exit the top of the image in ‘The Swing’, although the flattened perspective makes me worry a bit for her safety on the way down:
‘The Cow’: Perhaps a precursor to Petunia?
‘My Ship And I’:
The illustrations for the book aren’t all in color. There are many lovely black and white images, such as this for ‘The Little Land’:
and this for ‘My Shadow”:
Also for ‘Little Land’:
‘Autumn Fires’: Do we not feel the loss of summer looming?
‘To Minnie’: That is some rug!
For all you picture book folk – ‘Picture Books In Winter’:
And finally, a peek under the jacket cover:
Perhaps for my next post I will show more of Duvoisin’s work. It is worth exploring further.
My childhood self and my current self are having a tiff here. The Duvoisin illustrations are charming but I had the 1929 edition illustrated with black and white line drawings by “Eulalie” and those pictures are so fused with the words that I can’t separate them to welcome these upstart invader images!
Completely understandable! I feel the same way about quite a few new editions of beloved books. We can’t help but refer back to our childhood favorites.
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