CBI 57: La vie des mini-héros. Illustration by Oliver Tallec.
From time to time the mini hero must stop being a mini hero.
Isn’t this an adorable postcard?
The postcard, featuring a mini hero, came from Valériane (LuneDePapier on swap-bot) of Brittany, France. She rightly assumed I would love the postcard because of the humor.
La vie des mini-héros [Life as a Mini Hero] was authored by French illustrator Olivier Tallec. The books are designed for preschoolers:
Clad in bright suits that bespeak their daring deeds, these mini heroes live their daily lives assailed by all sorts of difficulty and disaster. Whether jumping rope on the playground, eating towers of ice-cream, or hanging upside-down from the ceiling, they are never short of plans and prospects! Sometimes, it’s true, they have to pause, which may be the greatest challenge of all. –Google Books.
Tallec has illustrated more than 50 books, including the gorgeously illustrated This is a Poem That Heals a Fish. [The link leads to a Brain Pickings article filled with images from the book].
I’m back with two more children’s book illustration (CBI) postcards. These come from Yvonne and Jeana [MelbourneGirl on swap-bot], mother-daughter swappers who hail from Australia. I love receiving children’s book illustrations from other countries, and Yvonne and Jeana do not disappoint. The characters and books illustrated were new to me, so I was over the moon when I received these cards.
The first card was sent several months ago for Book Lovers Congregate (BLC) CBI Swap #33; it features an illustration from The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek (1973) written by Jenny Wagner and illustrated by Ron Brooks:
One night something very large and muddy heaved itself on to the bank of Berkeley’s Creek. ‘What am I ?’ it murmured. ‘What do I look like ?’ A platypus told him he was a bunyip. But what is a bunyip? Although everyone had an opinion, no one really knew. So the bunyip set off to find out for himself. —Google Books
The Bunyip of Berkeley Creek. Illustration by Ron Brooks.
Of course, I had to do a bit of exploring to learn more about the book, and Google did not disappoint. Here’s a book trailer with more wonderful illustrations:
The second card, received for BLC CBI Swap #43 just days ago, features an illustration from another classic Australian children’s book, The Magic Pudding, written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay. The postcard celebrates 100 years since the book’s publication in 1918.
The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay. First published in 1918.
I “found” the illustrated book on Gutenberg. Happy dance! I’ll get my guys to read it with me during the Thanksgiving holiday. Hubby is a storyteller, so he’s always “game” for a good tale. In his “tweendom,” the not-so-little-one eschews anything “babyish,” but he’ll go for it if it’s a family activity.
The Guardian features a cute gallery of pictures in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the book. I learned that Lindsay wrote the book “reportedly to settle an argument with his friend Bertram Stevens, claiming children preferred to read about food than fairies.” I wonder who won???
Did you notice the postage stamp and postmark on the front of the cards? Those aren’t machine errors. They’re intentional. The cards are called maxicards; the coveted postcards feature the “first day of issue” postmark and stamps related to or identical to the images on the front of the cards. You can learn more about them via the Postcrossing blog.
These cards are just so delightful! Thanks, Yvonne and Jeana for introducing me to classics in Australian children’s literature. I’m looking forward to reading both books!
Samantha (Sammoning on swap-bot), from the Netherlands, sent the Eric Carle postcard below for Children’s Book Illustration Postcard swap #30.
Eric Carle, “Summer”
If you’re familiar with Eric Carle, the author/artist of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you probably recognized the sunflower as his work immediately. The postcard comes from the World of Eric Carle 100 Postcards, a delightful collection full of the artist’s brilliant work. There is very little information about the postcard. The image was posted on Carle’s blog almost eight years ago with no other detail but the title. It is part of his “season’s collection.”
By the way, if you need a dose of the warm fuzzies, you should really check out his blog.
Carle has “written and/or illustrated more than 70 picture books.” His collage illustrations are made with hand-painted tissue paper. If you’re looking for a fun (and easy) art project to help you decompress after a long work day, check out Carle’s slideshow in which he shares his technique: How I Paint My Tissue Papers.
I’m back with more children’s book illustration postcards, finally. The eight postcards below are familiar favorites from around the world.
Classic Pooh from Marianne in the Netherlands:
Swap 21: Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard
You already know how I feel about Pooh. The cool thing about the Pooh card is I have the Classic Pooh postcard collection it comes from, so when I received the postcard, it felt like one that I sent into the world returned to me.
Mr. Men from Lihior in Israel:
BLC Swap 21: Mr. Mischief’s New Year, Mr. Men Annual (1987)
My son has a sizable collection of the Mr. Men and Little Miss books that I can’t seem to part with. I’m pretty sure I enjoyed reading them to him more than he enjoyed hearing them. As a toddler, he was a bit “creeped out” by Mr. Nosey.
Tootles from Susan in St. Paul, Minnesota:
Swap 22: “Frolic.” From Tootle by Gertrude Crampton. Illustrated by Tibor Gergely, 1945
Tootle is a Little Golden Book, originally published in 1945, and though I’m familiar with the collection, I’m not sure I’ve seen this one before. Here’s a description of the book from Penguin Random House:
In this classic Little Golden Book from 1945, Tootle is a young locomotive who loves to chase butterflies through the meadow. But he must learn to stay on the tracks no matter what—if he ever hopes to achieve his dream of being a Flyer between New York and Chicago!
Continuing with children’s books published in the 1940s, “A Baby Puffin” from Geraldine in Canada:
BLC Swap 22: ABC, 1943. Cover illustration by Dorothy Chapman
A Janosch illustration from Katrin in Germany:
Swap 23: “And good luck.” Janosch
According to Katrin, the colorful books are very popular in Gemany. This one took a few too many “mail tattoos” as it winged its way to me, but the postage and cute Janosch stickers on back made up for the marks on front. [Click an image for a closer look].
BLC Swap 23: The Macmillan Alice. “The cover of The Nursery Alice, first published in 1890, was designed and coloured by Emily Gertrude Thomson.”
I’m “holding my typing keys” and trying not to write much about this card. I have a nice collection of Alice in Wonderland postcards that I’m planning to blog about soon.
There’s a quote on the back of the card from Lewis Carroll’s diary, dated February 15, 1881:
I wrote to Macmillan to suggest a new idea: a ‘Nursery Edition’ of Alice with pictures printed in colour.
Another Pooh card from Marianne:
It took some abuse in travel, but Pooh and Tigger were untouched.
Little Plum, another Puffin cover, from Geraldine in Canada:
BLC Swap 24: Little Plum, Cover illustration by Jean Primrose
I haven’t read Little Plum, but its description reminds me of childhood friends and that “one doll” that was never a first choice:
When Gem moves into The House Next Door, Nona and Belinda think she’s stuck up and vow to have nothing to do with her. But the beautiful Japanese doll in her window soon attracts their attention. They name her Little Plum because of the plum blossom decorating her clothes – but unlike Nona’s Japanese dolls, Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, Little Plum seems sad, unloved and uncared for. Will the three girls – and the three dolls – ever become friends? —Pan Macmillan
Since today begins Black History Month in the United States and since I’d planned to blog about children’s book illustration postcards today, I was curious about whether I have any children’s books postcards featuring the work of African American illustrators. I went through every postcard in my collection and, as suspected, I do not have any illustrations by African American artists. Then, I “googled” and found nothing.
Considering the high number of popular African American children’s authors and illustrators, I find this odd. [Insert appropriate emoji here].
Swap 18: Hansel and Gretel. Illustrated by Aurélie Blanz
I was pleased that I could see the name of the illustrator, Aurélie Blanz, on this card. It was nice to “discover” and explore Blanz’s brilliant work. I found another artist to love.
BLC Swap 18: Illustrator Fiep Westendorp
The postcard above, from Sammoning in the Netherlands, features an illustration by Fiep Westendorp, known for Jip en Janneke, Pluk van de Pettenflat and others. Every year, “kids go door-to-door to sell card sets and [matching] stamps” for Kinderpostzegels–to support educational and children’s charities.
It’s always nice when a bear shows up in my mailbox.
Swap 19: Little Polar Bear by Hans de Beer
Lars, the “little polar bear” came from Sissi, also in the Netherlands.
BLC Swap 19: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
The postcard above, from HelenGB in Canada, features the cover of the first Frederick Warne edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902.
Alice in Wonderland postcards are a special treat because I love all the different artistic interpretations of the story [I won’t mention that I have a whole box of Alice postcards that I have trouble sharing].
Inger sent this one from Sarpsborg, which is in the south-east part of Norway.
Swap 20: “The cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked goodnatured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth.” Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Illustrated by Sir John Tenneil
Her postcard also featured children’s book illustration postage:
And finally, Marinda in the United States sent an illustration from one of the sweetest tales I read to my little one when he was a baby, Guess How Much I Love You.
BLC Swap 20: Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, Illustrator Anita Jeram
As always, an eclectic selection, but a feast for the eyes and warm fuzzies for the heart!
I hosts two children’s book illustration swaps on swap-bot every two weeks–a public swap that any swapper can join and a swap for members in the Book Lovers Congregate group. Needless to say, I have a nice stack of images to share. But instead of overwhelming you with images, I’ll try to share 2-10 postcards once or twice per week until I get caught up.
Today’s post features an eclectic collection of postcards sent from Germany, Israel, Sweden, and the Netherlands, but they share a bit of commonality–mischievous children and/or cute animals.
The first pair of cards, sent for swaps #13 (the group and public swaps), came from Lihior of Israel. You are probably familiar with Beatrix Potter and her series of children’s books, but if not, click an image for a closer look and details about the card.
Beatrix Potter and Benjamin Bouncer, 1891. Beatrix liked to take Benjamin around with her, but he had to be kept on a leash to protect him from cats.
From The Tale of Pigling Brand, 1913. Aunt Pettitoes and her piglets. “And they drink bucketfuls of milk; I shall have to get another cow!”
Roosje of the Netherlands and Sissi of Germany sent postcards for swaps #14. I’ve loved the “naughty toddlers” Jip and Janneke [Roosje] since a Postcrosser introduced them to me many years ago.
Jip and Janneke. Written by Annie M.G. Schmidt. Illustrated Fiep Westendorp
Pettson and the cute cat Findus [Sissi] are quickly finding a place in my heart.
Pettson and Findus. Author/Illustrator, Sven Nordqvist
For swaps #15, Stargazer008 of Germany sent another Pettson and Findus (same card as above), and Lihior sent “The Frog King.”
“The Frog King”
Finally, for swaps #16, Lihior sent a postcard from the World of Eric Carle postcard collection. (Poor Lihior, she couldn’t shake me for a few weeks).
Eric Carle, Draw Me a Star, 1992
And Pei04, from Sweden, sent a Pippi Longstocking illustration. This one brought back fond memories of the Saturday afternoons I spent absorbed in the Pippi books when I was a little girl.
Pippi Langstrump by Astrid Lindgren. Illustrated by Ingrid Vang Nyman
The illustrated postage stamps on the back of a couple of Lihior’s postcards rivaled the postcards for attention.
Postage from Israel: (L) “The Fox in the Vineyard.” “R) “The Reed and the Cedar.”
Postage from Israel
Don’t you love how each panel tells a story?
That’s it for today. Look for more children’s book illustration postcards next week. Enjoy!
As mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I participated in Kat Sloma’s Liberate Your Art swap again. The swap has been running for seven years. I’d “just missed” the first year when I found out about the swap, but I’ve participated every year since.
This year’s stats:
876 pieces of art liberated
146 artists participating
30 US states and territories
The words that make up Kat’s theme, “Experiment, Play, Create, and Liberate,” serve as “clues to an expressive, playful, and free approach to making art.” She encourages participants to “keep those four words with us over the next year as we create and share our art.”
I’m happy to report that I received all six unique pieces of art sent my way. [As usual, April is insanely busy, and I haven’t had a moment to stage and photograph the postcards in my environment, so please forgive me].
“Angles and Lines” by Christopher A.
My first card came from Christopher of Michigan, a piece of art he created in December 2016. Christopher’s circumstances “made” an artist of him and compelled him to take a minimalist approach to art. He works with what’s available to him–a pencil and a piece of paper folded to make a straight edge.
He shares a quote that appropriately captures his circumstances and his art:
I’ve wanted to somehow convey to you the sensations–the atmospheric pressure, you might say–of what it is to be seriously a long-term prisoner in an American prison. –Jack Henry Abbott
A few days later, a little bit of Hong Kong graced my mailbox. Kris sends “love from Texas,” but as she points out, the scene is clearly not Texas:
“Not Texas” by Kris Mc.
I love everything about this photo–the composition, the tone. There’s so much story in this image! You can find more of Kris’s stunning work on her blog, on Instagram, and on Flickr.
Greetings from Gabriola Island (Canada) came next.
“The Road to Cold Mountain,” by Paul T.
Paul had fun creating this piece, entitled “The Road to Cold Mountain.” I find it intriguing. I’d love to know more about it!
Siobhan sent a calming photo postcard with a clock tower reflected on a rippling river.
“1902 Clock Tower” by Siobhan Wolf
The photo was shot at Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington. You can find more of Siobhan’s work at Wolf Tales, her blog. I love her signature line on the card… #bethelove.
Ella sent a whimiscal watercolor.
“Puff” by Ella L.
Ella completed this watercolor a few years ago. She sends her card with wishes for the “joy of playfulness.” Ella is a freelance illustrator who works with children’s books and poetry among other things. You can find more of her work on her website: Ellapointe Studio.
If you’ve been following along for the last several years, you know Kat’s postcard always ends the swap.
When I retrieved Kat’s card, I had mixed feelings–excitement because the “long anticipated” Kat card arrived, but disappointment because the card meant the end of the swap and I have to wait a year before it comes around again.
Digital Painting by Kat Sloma
Kat surprised me this year. Instead of sending one of her photos, she sent a colorful digital art piece. I realize, though, I shouldn’t have been surprised. She’d been posting digital paintings via IG: kateyeview. Trees are one of Kat’s favorite things to photograph, so I like how this image pays tribute to one of her favorite subjects.
Thank you Christopher, Kris, Paul, Siobhan, Ella, Kat and all the other wonderful artists who courageously share your art. Your creativity inspires me!
I am so grateful for you, Kat. Thank you for consistently, patiently, and meticulously coordinating LYA. Your work pushes all of us to strive for the best in our work as artists.
Fortunately, side swaps help us liberate even more art. If you’re interested in swapping away those extras, let me know. I’ll post the postcards I sent on “Microblog Monday.”
If you want to see more “liberated art,” check out the video featuring art from some of the participants. For a more comprehensive view of the exchange, click the tiny blue frog below.
From the Big Book of Bear and Hedgehog, Ingrid & Dieter Schubert
Should we be concerned that the first thing I noticed about this postcard is the sunflowers that form part of the bouquet Bear is hiding? My obsession with sunflowers has hit an all new high.
The cute card, featuring two animals hiding gifts behind their backs, was sent for the Book Lovers Congregate Children’s Book Illustration Postcards Swap #12. Sammoning (Netherlands) sent the postcard and admitted that she joined BLC “just to participate” in children’s book illustration swaps! How cool is that? She’s fortunate enough to live near a bookstore that sells “beautiful illustrated postcards with typical Dutch characters like Miffy and also more unique and current stories.”
The postcard illustration comes from The Big Book of Bear and Hedgehog, which is actually a compilation of four books of the duo’s adventures written by husband and wife team Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. The bear is described in reviews as “clumsy and rather silly,” and the hedgehog as “cheeky.” They were introduced to Dutch children’s literature in 1998 and have continued to line the shelves of children all over the world.
For Children’s Book Illustration Postcards Swap #12 (public), Mollypop (USA) sent this sweet postcard of a little girl with her teddy bear (because she knows I like teddy bears). The illustration is by Alice May Cook (1876-1958), a Scottish painter and illustrator.
Alice M. Cook from Blackie’s Children’s Annual
The image is from Blackie’s Children’s Annuals, which were published by Blackie and Son Limited, a publishing house in Glasgow, Scotland (1891-1991). According to the Abe Books website, children’s books were published in periodicals and distributed weekly or monthly. At the end of the year, the best stories were collected, bound, and released just in time for Christmas gifting.
You can find a selection of Cook images here. Though limited, the collection demonstrates the range of her art. Unfortunately, I found very little about the illustrator and even less about this postcard in particular.
Swaps #13 haven’t made their way to me from Israel yet, but good news–both postcards for swap #14 arrived today! Look for those here soon.
As promised, I’m back with more children’s book illustration postcards–swaps 6-10. The postcards below are from various parts of the world and include some of my favorite characters and/or themes–teddy bears, Classic Pooh, Moomin, and Alice in Wonderland. I was very pleased to be introduced to Rosalie and Truffle (the pink pig and the brown boar–see public swap #7). Amazon’s description:
Love at first sight does exist! Rosalie and Truffle fall in love when they meet under an apple tree. But their well-meaning friends and relatives discourage them from meeting again. As time goes by, and Rosalie and Truffle improve their lifestyles with yoga and dancing, they realize that neither material growth nor physical perfection guarantees happiness. At last they return to the apple tree and reunite.
Rosalie and Truffle, Truffle and Rosalie is an endearing story of love and trust, with wonderful illustrations. And the story is narrated from both points of view: flip the book over to read the story from the other perspective. This is a charming gift book, perfect for Valentine’s Day or for any special occasion.
Aside from their story of self-discovery and love, they remind me of strawberry and chocolate ice cream. Yum!
BLC PC #6: From Swededreams (USA): Happy Birthday, Kirsten. From the American Girls Series. Kirsten and her friends traded scraps of cloth so everyone could make a colorful design on a square of white muslin. The designs they made from the bits of cloth slowly grew in their hands the way wild violence bloomed on the prairie. Hallmark.
Public PC #6: From Mollypop (USA)–From Pleasant Lands 1936. Illustrators: A. Gladys Peck and Eleanor Osborn Eadie
BLC PC#7: From Eloise (Mexico)–The Family from One End Street, 2004. Cover illustration by Eve Garnett. Puffin.
Public PC #7: From Am-Sophie (Germany): Rosalie and Truffle by Katja Reider. Illustration by Jutta Bucker
BLC PC #8: From Ladybug (Canada)–The Tiny Seed, 1987, by Eric Carle.
Public PC #8: From Milkiss (Korea)–Moomin Characters
BLC PC#9: From Sarah (USA)–Heidi by Johanna Spyri, 1956. Cover illustration by Cecil Leslie. Puffin.
Public PC #9: From Jennifer (USA). From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Illustration by George Soper. “At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her.”
BLC PC #10: From AmyD (USA)–Classic Pooh, “HMS Piglet,” A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard
Public PC #10: From Widelo123 (USA)–From the cover of Hello, Mallory. Baby-sitters Club #14, 1991.
Many of the participants in this “new” series of children’s book illustration swaps also participated when Marjan hosted the swaps. They are so appreciative of the swaps’ return and that makes hosting them extra pleasurable. Thanks, Marjan, for laying a strong foundation; thanks swappers, for joining in and spreading postcard happiness!
We’ve finally reached the end of 122 weeks of children’s book illustration postcards. I’ve enjoyed our excursion into the world of children’s literature. It’s particularly been a pleasure going through the cards and sharing them again with my little one–who’s really not so little anymore. Though he is way beyond “picture books,” he still appreciates the books and illustrations and fondly remembers his early childhood reading.
As I consider the fact that this swap was hosted every week for more than two years, I’m impressed that some of us “stuck it out” and participated in every.single.swap. That is quite a feat!
We end with the final 24 postcards I received. In this set, there’s a series of postcards I had never seen before–those from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. The cards are big (just above 5×7) and colorful with a snippet of the story featured on the back of the card. You’ll once again see a few Alice in Wonderland postcards and some from other series, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales.
Although this is the last post of the five-part series, I will begin the new children’s book illustration postcards swap series this weekend and will share the postcards regularly.
If you’ve missed any of the other posts, you can find them here:
Week 101: From Marjan (Netherlands). Illustration by Dick Bruna (Miffy).
Week 102: From Cindy (New Zealand). Biggles.
Week 103: From Pam (USA): Jack an the Bean Stalk.
Week 104: From Karen (USA). Illustration by George Soper. From Lewis Carroll’s _Alice in Wonderland_. “The executioner had never had to do such a thing before,a nd he wasn’t going to begin at his time of life.”
Week 104b: Illustration by J.M. Battle, 1910 from _Peter Pan in Kensington Garden_.
Week 105: From Dawn (USA). Illustration by Francesca Chessa for _Library Lily_ by Gillian Shields. “Lily loves to read so much that she forgets to do anything else. but when she meets a new friend who doesn’t like to read, the two girls help each other discover the joy of both backyards and books–and find that adventures are best with a friend along. ” Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, http://www.eerdmans.com/youngreaders.
Week 106: From Pam (USA): Illustration by Hermann Vogel for _Hansel and Gretel_.
Week 107: From Dawn (USA). Illustration by Claire Alexander for _Back to Front and Upside Down_. “Stan can’t make his letters come out right, but he’s afraid to ask for help until a friend reassures him that nobody is good at everything.” Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, http://www.eerdmans.com/youngreaders.
Week 108: From Peggy (USA): Illustration by Anita Jeram for _Guess How Much I Love You_ by Sam McBratney. Walker Books, http://www.walker.co.uk.
Week 109: From Barbara (Netherlands). Illustration by Rie Cramer. Juni-Zomermaand.
Week 110: From Dawn (USA): Illustration by Jean-Francois Dumont for _The Sheep Go on Strike. “When the sheep on the farm go on strike, things get heated as the rest of the animals take sides. But when they sit down and talk, they think of a creative compromise.” Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, http://www.eerdmans.com/youngreaders
Week 111: From Barbara (Netherlands). Illustration by Rien Poortvliet for _Klaas Vaak_ (The Sandman).
Week 112: From Marjan (Netherlands). Illustration by Martijn van der Linden for _Mama Lief Alsjeblieft_ by Margje Kuyper and Sjoerd Kuyper. “Rough” translation of title:Here you are, sweet mama.” The book tells in 11 rhymes why you shold give flowers to your mother.
Week 113: From Pam (USA). Vintage illustration from the nursery rhyme “Little Boy Blue.”
Week 114: From Dawn (USA). Illustration by Mary Newell DePalma. “A fun and simple read aloud about the adventures of a boy and his dog.” Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, http://www.eerdmans.com/youngreaders.
Week 115: From Pam (USA). From the cover of _Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister_, Baby-sitters Club #31.
Week 116: From Marlies (Netherlands). Illustration by Rie Cramer. Maart-Lenlemaand.
Week 117: From Peggy (USA). Illustration by Gertrude Alice Kay. From _All Aboard for Wonderland, 1917.
Week 118: From Cindy (New Zealand). Helpful Penny.
Week 119: From Pam (USA). Vintage illustration from the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle.”
Week 120: From Marjan (Netherlands): Illustration by Iris Deppe for _We hebben er een geitje bij_ (We Have a Kid) by Marjet Hulberts. 2016 Picture Book of the Year.
Week 121: From Pam (USA). Illustration by Charles Robinson. From Lewis Carroll’s _Alice in Wonderland_.
Week 122: From Pam (USA): Alice in Wonderland.
Bonus Card: From Karen (USA). Illustration by Sarah Stilwell Weber. From_The Musical Tree_, 1925.