Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vintage Childhood Memories...

Hello all.
I think it's best you go and put the kettle on, grab something tasty to accompany your beverage and settle in for a tad tiny moment. I have been scanning left, right and centre (pardon the pun) with the intention of sharing a visual feast of imagery with you.

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Now whether or not you love vintage children's books as much as I do, or not, is beside the point really.
One would have to have be devoid of all sentiment not to appreciate the imaginative illustrations created by Anne & Janet Grahame Johnstone. I first posted about their work on the book Waterbabies here and since then I have been lucky enough to find a second book illustrated by them. 

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I love the colours....

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.... the abundance of flora & fauna, the attention to detail and most of all...

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.... the clothes.

I remember asking my mum -
Where do you get clothes like that?
(Hoping that I might be able to procure myself a set of white stockings and a
pair of black leather brass buckled shoes -
try saying that quickly!)
Of course I was raised in the eighties which meant that the local department store stocked everything Madonna, Culture Club and Cyndi Lauper. At this tender age I was oblivious to trends so it's no wonder I was heartbroken when I could not find the aisle for Lorna Doone lovers!
I was lucky enough though to have a Nanna who made me my very own Holly Hobby outfit.
So I suppose that's something. Hmmm - I need to dig out an old photo album I think!

The next two illustrations fill the inside of the front & back covers of the book.
How fantastic - to pay attention to pages we often ignore.

Next we peruse art works from a few of my Ladybird Readers.
Anyone recognise these?

Illustrated by A.J Macgregor

The mischievous adventures of two frisky kittens and their crazy antics.
Kittens in dresses - sigh...

And this one...

Illustrated by Frank Hampson

Higgledy Piggledy, the hen - reminds me of Roz & Daphne, but as for
 "Rub a Dub Dub" - the three men in the tub
(who supposedly jumped out of a rotten potato??)
I think I like the visual more than the poem.

Illustrated by Eric Winter

Then there's the slightly creepy tale of the baby snatcher who wants to play "guess my name
games" with a mother to be. I definitely enjoy the art more than the story here!
 After doing a bit of poking around I discovered this article about Ladybird Illustrators and it stated that
Eric Winter was actually the artist who designed the logo for the Abbey National Building Society.
As well as this a copy of the L/B reader Puss in Boots (which he illustrated) has been placed in a time capsule for future generations to find - too cool.

Illustrated by Eric Winter

The article also states that before working for L/B Eric provided artwork for Eagle comics
(as did a number of other L/B illustrators)

The Princess and the Pea was always, in my opinion, the most absurd fairytale and I commend Eric for drawing a decidedly naff looking Prince - after all who marries a ridiculously uptight woman that struggles to sleep on a pea hidden under a stack of mattresses? Just cos Mummy told you too?
I doubt very much this Prince will see any honeymoon action.

Then we have this darling...

Illustrated by Ethel & Harry Wingfield

 Full of really lovely ideas of things to do with your young-uns.
I swear my sister, my cousin and I had a tea party just like this one when we were wee little peeps.

Next there's an example of a LB Learner book...

Illustrated by Martin Aitchison

A sort of mini encyclopedia on the topic of Ballet - it's history, costumes, conventions etc.
Informative but not lacking in drama and romance by any means.

 I do hope you've enjoyed this little vintage illustration feast.
For me it's a real trip down memory lane and I am always inspired by the talent of other dedicated artists who can do what I am sadly unable to do. 

Still, this world needs the creators balanced by the observers - yes?

PS - If you love these then guess what!
You can purchase LB prints and or canvas art HERE.
Whoop Whoop!

I have some photos of my new guest room to post next. I had a ball playing around and decorating it.
My week has seen me tick off a number of items from my to-do list - including my goal to meditate every day for 15 minutes ... YAY for me! It's been a great stress buster and I'm looking forward to keeping up the routine. Hubby and I have recorded a mahoosive load of UK shows - Escape to the Country, Homes Under the Hammer etc. We find they are the perfect tonic for our dreams and longings to move to the UK. So this evening I think I'll be lazy and insist that we have takeaway, a good bottle of vino and a curl up on the couch.
Happy Thursday Peoples!


erleichda said...

hi! you have a lovely collection of old book illustrations! iagree whit you about the one with the pea. its quite a weird farytale... and ... there is something sweet about nannas isn`t there? doing what they can to fulfil our childhood dreams... i like you and i `ll come around again ; )

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Only the other day we were wondering just where all our old children's books had disappeared to. 'Just William', 'Girls of St. Clares', 'Mallory Towers' not to mention the complete Beatrix Potter 'Peter Rabbit' stories. Why do we part with such treasures?

The illustrations you show here are magical and transport us back to the days of our youth. How well we remember, like you, wanting to dress like our literary heroes and heroines....goodness knows what we must have looked like accompanying our parents to the shops!!!

Rebekka Seale said... are right...I love them!

VIntage children's book illustrations just realllly do me in.

I think I might have had that ballet book!

anyaadores said...

I love the old illustrations, they are cute:) But I found an old Grimm brothers fairytale book and thought I would read it to my 5 year old. Have you any idea how grim (pardon the pun) and rather evil they actually are. Scary stuff :) Needless to say I stopped reading, perhaps looking at these awesome illustrations are better.

Eleni said...

Oh, look at Tom Thumb riding a mouse! Beautiful.

chasing lightning bugs said...

i loved those ladybird books. and i think i had the rumpelstilskin. they reflect an era, those illustrations.