Tag Archives: Mid-Century

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!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Ooh La La!

Found today in an Oxfam Bookshop. Isn’t it gorgeous! I’ve never been any closer to Paris than Disneyland and flying past the airport on a train, but this has made me want to go. Although I’m sure this Paris is very hard to find now…

The jacket flap begins: Here is a book of complete enchantment. A book that evokes the spirit of Paris as individually as a whiff of a Gauloise.

Originally published in 1950, this is the revised and expanded version published in 1957 by Perpetua Books. (Ooh and set in Perpetua twelve point, on paper by the Inveresk Paper Co, at Musselburgh, Scotland, and bound by James Burn at Esher. I love it when typefaces get a credit!)

Kaye Webb writes in her introduction: We think Paris is novel and remarkable. We also think it is beautiful and stimulating. We believe the best way of proving this is to offer you drawings to look at. The text which accompanies them may be regarded as a faint prompting from the wings, a gentle murmur of conversation intended to keep you long enough before each picture to allow interest to awaken, memories to stir, and the charm of Paris in the springtime to sweep over you.

The book begins and ends with this image of the Eiffel Tower – something they view with ‘reluctant tenderness’.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Eiffel Tower from the Rue St Dominique

The Musée Rodin where the ‘nursemaids come and sit while their charges play round the plinths of Adam and Eve’.

Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin

There’s lots about the nightlife.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

The Lido

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

La Rose Rouge

And of course the more morbid and macabre.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Père-Lachaise

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Grand Guignol

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Ooh La La! Sixties Pin-up Playing Cards

1960s playing cards

Four aces

Ooh La La! Not a book today, but a pack of gorgeous sixties playing cards. I got sidetracked down the road of playing cards recently and came across these on Ebay. And they are fifty-two pieces of utter fabulousness. According to The Internet the deck was called ‘Cherie’, and they were made in 1965, possibly as an advertising deck or possibly a version was put out as an advertising deck. The illustrators were Hans and Louise Neupert.

These come right out of the time of Sweet Charity, James Bond, Viva Maria and Cat Ballou – faux Wild West showgirls, Fosse, feathers, fans, sequins and ‘legs that go on for ever’.

The court cards and aces are illustrated in zingy, vibrant colour with a different woman on each card, the number cards have a line drawing for each number. Hearts and Diamonds are printed in Schiaparelli pink instead of red. They use a luscious, curvy script font. My set, unfortunately, came without the original box and no jokers (but I knew that before I bought them). I shall try to track down the jokers at some point.

Gin Rummy, anyone?

1960s playing cards

“Hey, big spender”?

1960s playing cards

Close up of number card

1960s playing cards

four suits

1960s playing cards

Card backs

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,