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Randolph Caldecott's Picture Books

by Randolph Caldecott

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This lovely book - a beautifully produced hardcover with substantial paper stock and an appealing earth-tone palette - reproduces eight of Randolph Caldecott's classic picture books, taken from the collection of the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. A late nineteenth-century English artist, Caldecott belonged - like his contemporaries Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway - to what is often called the "Golden Age" of children's book illustration. American readers will undoubtedly recognize his name, which the American Library Association chose for its annual Caldecott Medal - awarded to the best-illustrated children's book of the year.

The texts Caldecott chose for his picture books includes such classic nursery rhymes as The House That Jack Built, Sing a Song of Sixpence, The Queen of Hearts, and Hey Diddle Diddle, as well as songs like The Milkmaid, The Farmer's Boy, and The Three Jovial Huntsmen. William Cowper's poem, The Diverting History of John Gilpin, also makes an appearance. I'm not sure that today's children will find these books especially appealing, as stories, but the artwork is simply gorgeous! Alternating between color plates and simple drawings, they have a distinctly Victorian aesthetic, while also being sprightly and humorous.

I savored this book, delighting in the illustrations (particularly those for The Queen of Hearts), and am grateful to my friend Kathryn for recommending this one. Anyone with an interest in the history of children's literature, and its accompanying illustrations, would do well to familiarize themselves with Caldecott's work. This handy volume is a step in that direction! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 17, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 087328223X, Hardcover)

The Caldecott Medal, established in 1937 by the American Library Association, is awarded each year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. While many people are familiar with this prestigious award, relatively few are acquainted with the English illustrator after whom it was named. Randolph Caldecott was one of the most popular book illustrators of the late nineteenth century. His picture books were issued two at a time every Christmas, from 1878 until his death in 1886. He chose the subjects on his own, drawing from a mix of age-old nursery rhymes, pieces by eighteenth-century writers, and nonsense he made up himself.
With their humorous wordplay and exquisite illustrations, Caldecott's picture books continue to engage the imaginations of children and adults alike. This new edition reproduces nine of his most popular stories: The House that Jack Built, The Diverting History of John Gilpin, Sing a Song for Sixpence, The Three Jovial Huntsmen, The Farmer's Boy, The Queen of Hearts, The Milkmaid, Hey Diddle Diddle, and Baby Bunting.
This book is the third in the series of Huntington Library Children's Classics, which include facsimiles of favorite children's books from the Huntington's rare book collections.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:25 -0400)

Presents nine of the illustrator's books of nursery rhymes and other classic rhymes for children, including "The House that Jack Built," "The Queen of Hearts," and "Baby Bunting."

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