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the illustrators of the "Just So Stories"

Tattered but still lovely

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Nov 29, 2016, 7:50am Top

I've found the book for this year's exploration of illustrators.

A much loved classic collection by Rudyard Kipling and rendered by many many artists, we'll look at Just So Stories.


Edited: Nov 29, 2016, 7:55am Top

I've got Victor Ambrus version in front of me. He is hilarious!

I wish I could show you the back cover, because it's even more fun than the front. I can't even find the print by googling, so you'll have to obtain a copy of the book yourselves. (Scanning has become a miserable option here at my office, sadly.)

More notes later, so check back. I've got a ton of real work to get to today.

Dec 10, 2016, 10:47pm Top

My library system has 30 book versions of the Just So Stories and 4 ebooks. I ordered one whose cover caught my eye.

Books of Wonder enlisted Barry Moser to render 10 watercolors and provide the basic line drawings essential to a couple of the stories. I think this is a stingy number, and though each one is visually appealing and technically accurate, the paintings are portraits only, and do not help to tell the stories.

There are 12 stories in this edition, missing The Tabu Tale.

Dec 12, 2016, 10:02am Top

I guess it's only fair to give space to the first illustrations.

Mr. Kipling drew some wonderful illustrations himself, and his explications of the pictures run to several paragraphs and are as delightful as the stories themselves. My copy of them doesn't do them justice. Looking at them online is somewhat a better experience. I hadn't realized what an accomplished draftsman and visual composer Kipling was.

Here is a bit of background information about the illustrations: http://www.victorianweb.org/victorian/art/illustration/kipling/index.html

Dec 12, 2016, 10:09am Top

Here are the stories with an option to listen to them:


Dec 12, 2016, 7:26pm Top

Just So Stories is what I read to my Dad his last (and only) day in hospice. I remembered him reading to to my younger brother. I am not sure that I own a physical copy, I am pretty sure that I read from my Kindle as I had flown to be with him. One way or another I should fix my LibraryThing book entry. I know that we had multiple editions growing up. I'll have to see if I can find some of the covers.

Dec 13, 2016, 8:31am Top

When we were children my family used to visit Kipling's home, Batemans, in Sussex. On display there they have the actual necklace that he made for the story How the alphabet was made, which you can see in Kipling's original illustration. It always gave me such a thrill to see it, and when I went there again earlier this year it was still rather magical.

Edited: Dec 19, 2016, 5:46pm Top

Nice thread!

Here's the cover to the book we had growing up:

It also had the black and white illustrations by Kiping on the inside.

Edited: Dec 19, 2016, 5:54pm Top

This is the cover to the copy I own:

I think I need to scan my copy, this was the best I could find on the web...

Dec 20, 2016, 9:56am Top

Checking in the other authors section, I find some favorite illustrators:

Helen Ward
Michael Foreman
Robert Ingpen
Paul Bransom

I haven't had time to truly dip in yet.

Dec 31, 2016, 12:00pm Top

Oh this has always been one of my favorite stories, esp the Elephant Child. It was read to me when I was a kid, and I now read it to kids in my classroom, never ceases to delight. I don't have my book from childhood but the one I have is from the Just So Series, including Elephant Child, Howe the rinocerous got its skin, how the camel got its hump and how the leopard got its spots. Illustrator f. Rojankovsky copyright 1942

Mar 11, 2:57pm Top

>10 2wonderY: the cover in post 8 is by Paul Bransom. He did some lovely illustrations for The Call of the Wild, too.

Edited: Mar 21, 2:40pm Top

The Weekly Reader Classic Series uses Kipling's illustrations inside. The color cover pastiche illustration is by Doug Cushman.

Edited: Mar 21, 3:49pm Top

H. B. Vestal's offerings appear to be fascinating. I don't have his book, but I found a webpage with a few illustrations.

Here's the nicest:

I can't tell how long ago Vestal made these pictures. He was born in 1916, but didn't seem to begin his art until he was in his thirties. The earliest publication date I've found for his version is 1957.

He may have done the entire set, but all I find so far is a collection of 7 of the stories in Favorite Just So Stories.

Mar 21, 7:03pm Top

>14 2wonderY: oh, that's just gorgeous!

Edited: Apr 13, 6:48pm Top

A collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just so stories contains eight stories and each is illustrated by a different artist.

Half are intriguing, the other half are slap-dash and boring.
Clare Melinsky makes excellent lino-cuts for How the Camel Got Its Hump.
Cathie Felstead created several mixed-media for How the Leopard Got Its Spots.
Jane Ray’s characters are appealing in The Beginning of the Armadillos.

It would have added value to the book to have had the artists discuss their inspirations and methods.

I haven't looked at the text yet, but I believe they are shortened.

HA! This reviewer chose the same three illustrators, so you can see samples:

Apr 13, 6:37pm Top

OOOOh! Love Melinsky's other work too:

look at her urban gardener collection!

Apr 13, 8:40pm Top

>17 2wonderY: nice! I especially like her Spring Fling 2015 design.

Group: Tattered but still lovely

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