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A Few of My Favourite Books #6

Happy Days Through Safety Days by Caroline Glicksman

Caroline Glicksman is my favourite illustrator. (Now known as Caroline Whitehead). Her ability to tell hilarious stories in images is unsurpassed and I find everything she has done utterly delightful. ‘Happy Days Through Safety Days‘ is a folding concertina book inspired by the road signs she saw when travelling through Cochin in India.

From “Right way is to keep left always” to “When safety dies, accident is born”, the simple, awkward, home-spun wisdom of the text is charming. The startling colour scheme of cyan, magenta, yellow and black is perfect for the vibrant images. The whole concertina is a triumph.

The book is screenprinted in an edition of 27 copies (mine is number 26 – phew! Just got there in time!). Please check out Caroline’s other work at www.carolinewhitehead.com

I hope you’ve enjoyed the third of A Few of My Favourite Books and the tiniest glimpse into my collection. Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. Thank you.

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A Few of My Favourite Books #5

Tripp by John Brunner illustrated by Paul Piech

Trip: A Sequence of Poems Through the USA is a book by John Brunner illustrated with linocuts by Paul Piech and printed by the Keepsake Press in 1971. It was printed in a limited edition of 200 copies of which 50 were numbered and signed by John Brunner. Mine is a signed copy.

John Brunner was a British author of science fiction novels. As I child I read his 1968 novel Stand On Zanzibar about an overpopulated world which won the 1969 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel. I loved it. I explored some of his other science fiction and found a great groundswell of humanity in his writing. 20 or so years ago I cam across this card-covered book of his poetry and as soon as I saw the linocuts and John Brunner’s signature I knew I had to have it.

The title page has 1970s charm, with the decorative border. The linocuts are simply carved and expressive. It’s a joy to hold.

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A Few of My Favourite Books #4

Siegfried the Mighty Warrior illustrated by Laszlo Gal

In A Few Of My Favourite Books I share some delightful books from my personal collection. The fourth book from my collection is Siegfried the Mighty Warrior by Maria Luisa Gafaell de Vivanco illustrated by Laszlo Gal.

It was originally published in Milan in 1965 and published in the UK in 1967 by Paul Hamlyn. I was given a copy in the 1970s as a young child. Given how fashionable mid-century style is now, I wonder whether that is going to spread to mid-century illustration? I think a whole new generation need to discover Laszlo Gal and an older generation need to rediscover him.

Laszlo Gal is one of my favourite illustrators because he gives a life to characters which is perfectly in tune with the book and yet gives the story a whole new perspective because of his artistic vision.

Laszlo Gal is brilliant in the use of dense repetitive pattern in blocks with the use of scratched and textured backgrounds. He uses strong graphic blocks of texture and colour with exaggerated bodies with small hands, heads and feet. The book is a delight.

Siegfried the Mighty Warrior illustrated by Laszlo Gal

I also love the way the text and images work together on the double-page spreads. Here the image and the three columns of text are balanced perfectly with a wide blank column to the left:

Siegfried the Mighty Warrior illustrated by Laszlo Gal

I hope you’ve enjoyed the third of A Few of My Favourite Books and the tiniest glimpse into my collection. Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. Thank you.

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A Few of My Favourite Books #3

The Frog Prince(ss) by Caroline Glicksman - hand screenprinted in 1998

In A Few Of My Favourite Books I share some delightful books from my personal collection. The third book from my collection is The Frog Prince(ss) by Caroline Glicksman. Caroline understands visual storytelling so well that this single sheet folding concertina book is a masterclass in sequential illustration. Printed in a four-colour palette of green, yellow, purple and pink, the story plays with all our pre-conceived notions of fairy tales, family relationships and storytelling. Every page is a surprise and a delight. From the start, the book is a standard fairy tale, with its “Once upon a time…” opening line. We all know that this frog used to be a prince, because that’s what all our childhood stories told us, however, his statement “But life’s much better as a frog” instantly warns us that traditional fairytale tropes are going to be seriously subverted.

The Frog Prince(ss) by Caroline Glicksman - hand screenprinted in 1998

One of the joys of this book is in the details: the bride and groom both have frog tongues. The frong prince and princess have a pond full of tadpoles each of which have crowns upon their heads.

The Frog Prince(ss) was hand screenprinted in an edition of 85 copies in 1998. Mine is copy number 45.

Caroline Glicksman is an author and illustrator of children’s fiction. Her first picture book, Eric the Red was published by Random House Children’s Books in 2001 and was followed by the sequel Eric & the Red Planet in 2005. Caroline has also written and illustrated the Walker Books title Big Black Dog. Caroline has more recently collaborated with Simon Hutton, providing the black white line illustrations for Brilliant Billy’s Book of Dinosaurs and Brilliant Billy Does His Bit, both published by Andersen Press. Caroline is currently working on some new picture book ideas.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the third of A Few of My Favourite Books and the tiniest glimpse into my collection. Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. Thank you.

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A Few of My Favourite Books #2

Cuts by Edwin Smith published by the Previous Parrot Press in 1992

In A Few Of My Favourite Books I share some delightful books from my personal collection. The second out of the plastic storage box in the loft is Cuts by Edwin Smith, a beautifully produced book from the Previous Parrot Press in Church Hanborough in Oxfordshire. I say beautifully produced, but when it says “printed electrostatically on Zerkall mould-made paper” it means that Dennis Hall photocopied it using his office photocopier.

Cuts by Edwin Smith published by the Previous Parrot Press in 1992

Cuts is a beautiful object, with a red and grey paper binding and cream coloured deckle-edged paper. The pages are folded over and uncut so the printing is on one side of the paper only. A large part of the charm of Edwin Smith’s cuts is the inventive and humorous use of everyday objects. Ribbons, lace, a fork, chains, tools or fronds of seaweed are all turned into repeating pattern designs.

My favourite cuts are the impish figures and I find the tall man in a top hat and a cape carrying a woman naked except for stockings darkly humorous.

Edwin George Herbert Smith (15 May 1912 – 29 December 1971) was an English photographer. He is best known for his distinctive vignettes of English gardens, landscapes, and architecture. On his own or in partnership with his wife, the artist and writer Olive Cook, he authored or contributed to numerous books during his lifetime and his photographs are still regularly used today.

It was published in 1992 in an edition of 178 copies. Mine is number 159. What do you think about ‘Cuts’?

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A Few of My Favourite Books #1

Little Red Riding Hood - copyright Caroline Glicksman 1998

In A Few of My Favourite Books I’m going to be sharing some delightful books from my personal collection. The first out of the storage box was this absolute gem from Caroline Glicksman which she hand printed and published in 1998. Little Red Riding Hood is a single piece of rough brown card screenprinted in just two colours and folded in a concertina into a small case.

It’s a comprehensive masterclass of illustration, design and visual storytelling.

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Caroline’s ability to tell a complex moral story in just eight small square panels using only two colours is unsurpassed. The use of red for Red Riding Hood’s cloak is matched with the red of the wolf’s eyes and his slavering tongue. The alliteration of wolf, wicked and wood add to the literary feel of the opening page and are echoed by the word ‘wealthy’ on the second. Saying her grandmother is wealthy sets up the story beautifully, which is a darker twist on the story you may have encountered as a child.

One of the many things I love about Caroline’s work is the very simple, very understated, very thoughtful ability to use a graphic language to convey meaning in a way which is almost unnoticeable but very powerful. The story is only three sentences long and spread over eight panels. She has used ellipses (dot, dot, dots) to carry on the sentences across panels where the dots become the footsteps, path or scent trail which the wolf follows in pursuit of Little Red Riding Hood. Genius. Utter genius.

Caroline Glicksman completed her MA in sequential design and narrative illustration at Brighton College in 2000. Her hobbies include traveling and playing the bassoon. She lives in Oslo.

Little Red Riding Hood - copyright Caroline Glicksman 1998

Little Red Riding Hood has the simplest contruction possible, uses only two colours and has just eight pages yet is a constant delight to hold, to open, to read and to share. She produced just 60 copies.

Caroline Glicksman is an author and illustrator of children’s fiction. Her first picture book, Eric the Red was published by Random House Children’s Books in 2001 and was followed by the sequel Eric & the Red Planet in 2005. Caroline has also written and illustrated the Walker Books title Big Black Dog. Caroline has more recently collaborated with Simon Hutton, providing the black white line illustrations for Brilliant Billy’s Book of Dinosaurs and Brilliant Billy Does His Bit, both published by Andersen Press. Caroline is currently working on some new picture book ideas.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first of A Few of My Favourite Books and the tiniest glimpse into my collection. Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. Thank you.