Saturday, July 11, 2009

Vintage Rosemary Wells































































My mother in law was doing a little attic cleaning and ran across this favorite book from my husband's childhood: Rosemary Wells' Impossible Possum. I'm familiar with Rosemary Wells. I've seen the stout, cute guinea pig-like creatures that populate so many of her books. We're quite fond of her collection of nursery rhymes. But this book is nothing like those.

I recently read in Leonard Marcus' Minders of Make Believe; a very thorough history of childrens book publishing in the U.S., that it used to be common practice for children's book illustrators to be awarded a 1 or 2 color illustration assignments when first starting out. It was the publisher's way of testing the popularity of new talent with a less expensive print run. I think some of the most beautiful children's books are a result of these spare palettes. Rosemary Wells' use of line and texture is just amazing. The simple black and red color scheme calls to mind my son's favorite children's book: Virginia Lee Burton's Choo Choo, also entirely red and black. I'm so glad this book has made it's way out out of the attic and onto our shelves.

3 comments:

Jackie said...

Oh those trees are SO beautiful ... drool drool ... makes me want to get my hands on that book.

Latifah Shay said...

The trees are beautiful! Hard to believe that this is the same author/illustrator of the Max and Ruby and Yoko books...

child at art said...

I know... I like her so much more now having seen this one :)