A walk down memory lane

The book that I chose to look into was Illustrated Children’s Books.  This book looked at illustrations in children’s books throughout history, how they have evolved and what they have contributed to the stories.  I chose this book because on the front cover they had well known illustrations from children’s stories, such as Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter and Babar.  When I saw the cover with familiar pictures from my childhood, I definitely felt a wave of nostalgia and I knew that I had to write my post about this book.

I flipped through the book reading the foreword and looking at all of the included illustrations.  I was happy to see that some of my personal favorites had been included, the illustrations by EH Shepard of Winnie the Pooh and the Busy World of Richard Scarry.  As I was reading through the book it discussed the ways in which illustrations enhance and add to the stories.  The book made an interesting point that many children’s books are pushing to include fewer pictures and more text.  The author made an interesting point that illustrations in children’s books keep children from being visually illiterate as well as verbally illiterate.  As the book says, illustrations only improve the reading experience for children, and when children enjoy reading it will cause them to become life-long readers.

I am inclined to agree with the author that the illustrations in children books lead to more enjoyable experiences and create life-long readers.  Some of my fondest memories growing up were reading the original Winnie the Pooh books with my grandma.  These books had the original illustrations by EH Shepard and had belonged to my mom and her siblings.  I loved reading about the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and seeing the illustrations of Pooh, Rabbit, Piglet and Tigger.  A single illustration from Winnie the Pooh can say a thousand words, whereas it would require a passage to evoke the same nostalgia and feelings.  I can honestly say it is doubtful as to whether I would have been as avid a reader if it were not for the story of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne and the illustrations of EH Shepard.

I looked to see if there were any reviews of this book to see what others thought about it.  There was a review which praised the book for exploring how the illustrators came to choose certain images and the processes which went into those illustrations.  Many take these illustrations for granted, but this book explores the ways that some of the most beloved literary images came to be.

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3 Responses

  1. Can you hyper link to the book?

  2. I appreciated your reminiscing. The title and hook are a good way to set up the book.

    I wonder if you could have folded in a few illustrations to spruce up the post.

    Why did the author write this book? Is it primarily about defending the role of illustrations? Or was it more of an encyclopedia?

    My wife teaches Children’s Literature here, and has her own blog <a href="http://vlazblog.blogspot.com/&quot; THe Wardrobe Door. Maybe you would like the class or her blog!

    Winnie the pooh is among my favorites!

  3. My star rating says it all: “God-Like Theorizing!”
    Bravo Emily, Bravo

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