Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beautiful Book #21

The Hey Diddle Diddle Picture Book by Randolph Caldecott. Frederick Warne, 1910.

You all know the award but do you know the artist whose name is behind it? Randolph Caldecott was active as a book illustrator in London in the 1870s and 80s and is considered the father of the modern picture book. His illustrations are whimsical and often convey a sense of motion. Many illustrations pair formal scenes with playful action and his world is as filled with academics, hunters and domestic scenes as it is with animals and inanimate objects. I've chosen a collection containing several of his illustrated nursery rhymes, because I am particularly fond of his frogs, his nursery scenes and particularly his dish and spoon. Caldecott died at age 39. I can't help but wonder where his art would have taken the history of the book if he had lived a full, long life.

If you want to see more of Caldecott's work, search for him on Project Gutenberg, as a number of his works are there, complete with illustrations: www.gutenberg.org/

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