Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A centuries-old mystery

"Who Killed Cock Robin?" is one of four venerable children's rhymes illustrated in the color-saturated, brilliantly designed My First Nursery Book by Franciszka Themerson (1907–1988). (Below are endpaper and story title designs from the book.) 
After poring over Themerson's eye-popping handiwork, I had to learn more about her. I found that they carry this book in the museum shop of the Tate in London. She was an artist, filmmaker, illustrator, theater designer, and book designer. She collaborated with her husband, Stefan, in Warsaw's film avant-garde of the 1930s and in books for children. From 1948 to 1979 they ran the Gaberbocchus Press (Latin for 'Jabberwocky') in London. There is an online archive of their work at the press; this drawing from it reminds me of the work of William Steig.
The artist at work
By F.T., from "All the King's Horses"
Acquiring intriguing and beautiful children's books is an abiding passion for us at Daedalus. And we  have prices that beat Black Friday every day! Can you share with Daily Glean readers some of your favorite children's book illustrators?


  1. Eric Carle all the way!

  2. I found a signed copy of "The Cloud" in the Salvation Army bin!