Tag Archives: children’s books illustrators

Wonderland Tales 1973

Wonderland Tales Book

Wonderland Tales and Story-and-Picture Book. Published by Ideabooks 1973. Featuring artwork by Spanish illustrators Jesus, Alessandro and Adriano Blasco. According the blurb the brothers lived and worked together. You can see the slight differences in style through the panels, and I love the definite 70s aesthetic Alice has to her.

DSCF2283WL2Wonderland Tales Book

The book also features Gulliver’s Travels and The Golden Box as well as a couple of short stories, Shouting Stones and The Brave Young Shepherd

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Willo The Wisp Annual 1985

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985, IPC Magazines © DN and PM Spargo 1982. Originally priced at £2.95. It’s completely clean but there is a single-sheet insert missing.

Willo the Wisp is a fantastic cartoon series, voiced by Kenneth Williams, that first aired in 1981. It features the denizens of Doyley Woods – including Willo the Wisp (the narrator), Mavis Cruet, the blue-haired fairy, Arthur the caterpillar and the wicked witch, Evil Edna. Go look for it on YouTube if you’ve never seen it – it’s a treat!

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985

The incomparable Evil Edna

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985

Astrognats game

Willo the Wisp Annual 1985

Cut out models – there is a background scene later in the book

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Hare and Hedgehog 1970

Hare and Hedgehog book

This is a Picture Grasshopper book. Retold by Euan Cooper Willis and illustrated by Horst Lemke. First published in paperback by Abelard-Schuman Ltd in 1973. It was originally 50p (which is what I paid for it in the Salvation Army charity shop the other week).

Hare and Hedgehog book

The story goes: the hare is very proud that he can run so fast and challenges the hedgehog to a race. Hedgehog wins by roping in his family – who all look like him – and hiding them at various points along the course, so the original hedgehog is only there at the beginning and the end.

I think the moral is meant to be ‘don’t show off’ or ‘pride comes before a fall’ or something. I always found these sorts of stories a bit suspect – I know the hare is a show-off, but the hedgehog wins by cheating, so I’m not sure who gets the moral advantage here!

Anyway – the illustration is FAB. I love the costume touches – the hedgehogs’ neckerchiefs and the hats on the birds – and hare’s check trousers are brilliant.

Hare and Hedgehog book

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass illustrated by Dagmar Berková 1992

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Produced by Aventinum, Prague, for Treasure Press and published in 1992. I’d not seen this before. The rather lovely illustrations are by Dagmar Berková.

These are the three sisters in the treacle well – I don’t remember seeing them illustrated before.

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

Alice Wonderland Dagmar Berková

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The Original Alice in Wonderland 1988

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

This edition is illustrated by Eric Kincaid and published by Brimax Books as a WHSmith exclusive. It’s heavily illustrated – a mix of text and illustration and full-page and spreads.

Picked up in a charity shop sale for 30p. I also got Peter Pan – also illustrated by Eric Kincaid (I’ll post that later).

Alice has brown hair in this edition and looks more like Alice Liddell than the blonde Disney Alice.

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

Alice in Wonderland Kincaid

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Little Grey Rabbit card game

Little Grey Rabbit Card game

So who remembers the Little Grey Rabbit series? They were written by Alison Uttley and illustrated by Margaret Tempest and are about a little grey rabbit (of course) and a cast of assorted animals including Wise Owl, Moldy Warp (a mole) and Fuzzypeg (a young hedgehog).

I haven’t got any of the books, although I know we had some as children and got them out of the library, but this week I found a Pepys game (strap line: Better than a picture book Grey Rabbit’s own game – for you) for 99p. The aim of the game is to collect counters and whoever ends with the most is the winner. Now I shall have to find someone to play it with!

Little Grey Rabbit Card game
Little Grey Rabbit Card game

Little Grey Rabbit Card game

Little Grey Rabbit Card game

Little Grey Rabbit Card game

grey rabbit rules booklet

grey rabbit rules booklet
grey rabbit rules booklet

grey rabbit rules booklet

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The White Deer – A Latvian Folk Tale 1973

Listen, and you shall hear,
This riddle is not long:
There was a great White Deer,
Its antlers were so strong.
Seen by everyone,
It was caught by none.

White Deer

I found this for 50p in a charity shop yesterday. It’s a 1989 printing of a 1973 book. It’s by Lyudmila Kopylova (English translation by Fainna Solasko). The illustration is by Nikolai Kochergin. It was published by Raduga Publishers, Moscow and printed in ‘the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’. It’s a stapled pamphlet-style book. I don’t know much about Russian books – I don’t know if this was usual at the time.

White Deer

White Deer

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The Anatomy Of Costume (1977)

Since I was small I have been interested in historical costume. I loved this book – I would pore over it for hours. I lost somewhere along the way, but I was really pleased to pick it up again recently – and it was just as I remembered it!

Anatomy of Costume

It was published in 1977 by Book Club Associates, by permission of Mills & Boon Limited.

It’s illustrated by Victor Ambrus – a prolific illustrator and author of both fiction and non fiction. In recent years he’s been working for Time Team illustrating reconstructions of archaeological sites and historic events.

I can’t find much about Robert Selbie. The cover notes that he was involved in theatre costume design.

The book starts with Egyptians and ends with the 1960s. Each era is discussed over four pages. The first spread is mainly text with small pictures around the outside. The second spread has a full-page image of a man and a woman on the right. All of the images are labelled and there are relevant quotes too.

These are the Romans:
Anatomy of Costume

The Tudors (Very Wolf Hall):
Anatomy of Costume

And what was worn in the 1940s:
Anatomy of Costume

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1960s The Treasury of Children’s Literature in Colour

Treasury of Children's Literature

A few weeks ago I was browsing the children’s shelves in the wonderful Eric T Moore Books in Hitchin when I noticed this fairly unremarkable looking book. As I hadn’t yet come across anything I wanted to buy I picked it up anyway, expecting a generic collection of fairy tales. But what wonders were within! It is a treasury indeed.

Turns out this is a 1981 WHSmith exclusive printing of a book originally published in the 1960s by Western Publishing Inc. The treasury is edited and selected by Bryna and Louis Untermeyer (and some of the stories are retold by Louis Untermeyer). It is 544 pages long and contains selections from The Just So Stories, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, The Sword in the Stone, the Hobbit, The Wizard of Oz and countless others. And best of all, every story is illustrated – sometimes by illustrators I’m familiar with – EH Shepard, John Tenniel, Charley Harper, Alice and Martin Provensen and some new-to-me illustrators such as Gordon Laite.

Wonderful colours in Robert J Lee’s Hobbit illustrations – I love the flowers on Gandalf’s robe. He also illustrates Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon.

Treasury of Children's Literature

An Unexpected Party from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien illustrated by Robert J Lee

Treasury of Children's Literature

Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon by CS Forester and illustrated by Robert J Lee

Charley Harper’s stunning Bambi illustrations.

Treasury of Children's Literature

From Bambi by Felix Salten and illustrated by Charley Harper

This gorgeous owl in his green sunglasses. (I didn’t know this story or illustrator.)

Treasury of Children's Literature

From Raoul the Owl by Jay Williams and illustrated by Lilian Obligado

This was the first time I’d come across Gordon Laite. His fairy story illustrations are fantastic.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Cinderella illustrated by Gordon Laite

Treasury of Children's Literature

Rapunzel illustrated by Gordon Laite

Adrienne Ségur has one illustration in Sleeping Beauty. Her work is beautiful and I am hoping to get a copy of her Alice one day.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Sleeping Beauty Illustrated by Adrienne Ségur

The wonderful Richard Scarry illustrates Drakestail.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Drakestail illustrated by Richard Scarry

A Japanese take on Bluebeard.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Bluebeard Illustrated by Kanako Tanabe

Ray Bradbury’s short story about learning not to be afraid of the dark.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Switch on the Night by Ray Bradbury and illustrated by Hilary Knight

I didn’t know these stories either. I love Jean Winslow’s pen (or pencil) and watercolour (I think) illustrations.

Treasury of Children's Literature

Ting-a-Ling and the Five Magicians by Frank R Stockton illustrated by Jean Winslow

And finally Aesop’s Fables retold by Louis Untermeyer and illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. A grin to rival the Cheshire Cat’s!

Treasury of Children's Literature

The Cat and the Mice from Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen



There are so so many wonderful stories and illustrators in this book this is just scratching the surface. And the moral of this story is don’t judge a book by its cover!

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The Heavenly Weaver 1975 Japanese picture book

Heavenly Weaver cover

Today I have a delightful Japanese story, The Heavenly Weaver, by Sachio Mitsukoshi, translated by Ann Herring and art direction by Kozo Shimizu. It was first published by Gakken (Japan) and published by Blackie and Son in the UK (both in 1975).

From what I can gather Gakken put out a series of these picture books in the 1970s – I have found pictures from The Grateful Crane, which look like the same setting, but with a different, but still dimensional, artwork style.

I’m not sure what the media is, perhaps clay or maybe salt dough. The clouds look like cotton wool and the season tapestry is painted cloth. The characters are dressed in ancient Japanese style.

The Heavenly Weaver is a traditional Japanese story. Princess Tanabata, the Sky-king’s daughter, sat at her loom every day and wove the seasons we have on earth. One day the Sky-king arranged for her to marry the Celestial Cowherd – whom she was very much in love with.

Heavenly Weaver

The Princess and the Cowherd were so happy as they wandered among the stars and clouds that they forgot to weave the tapestry and tend the cows.

Heavenly Weaver

So all the living creatures stopped moving, and the trees and plants faded and died.

The Sky-king couldn’t allow this to happen, so he separated the Weaver and the Cowherd by putting them on either side of the Milky Way and turned the Milky Way into a celestial river. But when he saw how sad the couple were, he allowed them to meet once a year if they were good. They meet on Midsummer Eve, and they say that if it rains that night the couple haven’t been allowed to meet and the rain is their tears. But when they meet, the birds form a bridge of wings across the Milky Way.

Heavenly Weaver

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