As the new trainee here at the Research Collections I wanted to freshen a few things up. I have been having a look round our wide selection of children’s literature and noticed a common theme amongst them. Rather than focus on the authors I thought I would celebrate the work of the illustrators. Illustration is such an integral part of children’s literature and I wanted to showcase the achievements of some of my favourite illustrators.
Their work enables children to engage more with their text and use their imagination to further enhance their understanding and enjoyment of a story.
Here is The Sly Old Cat by Beatrix Potter. Potter first wrote and illustrated this in 1906 but it was not published until 1971, twenty-eight years after she passed away. Potter was a well loved illustrator whose designs have been reproduced worldwide on various collectibles, from crockery to greeting cards. This production of the book contains her original sketches that were not enhanced before publication. Her style is easily recognisable and holds a lot of memories of childhood for many people.
We also have a collection of her designs that have been reprinted onto postcards in our John Marks Collection which is located in the Woodbury Building in room WB23.
Another great illustrator of children’s literature was Kate Greenaway. Her idealised view of childhood is represented through the tranquil style of her characters. Her devotion to her work led to an award being named in her honour.
The Kate Greenaway Medal was first established in 1955 and is awarded for renowned illustrations in children’s literature. The medial is awarded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
The illustration shown is entitled The Cats Have Come to Tea and it accompanies one of her poems of the same name.
These are just two snippets of the new display that I have been working on. I will keep you posted on my progress and what else I find. There is also another theme running alongside the illustrators, can you guess what it is yet?