Monday, March 7, 2011

Design Inspiration - Maude and Miska Petersham

I love children s' picture books.  Other girls love shoes or jewelry and I'm hauling home books for little kids.  Thrift stores are my favorite place to find great books.  I can't believe what I score there.  Before Christmas I was at my local Savers and spied a shelf labeled "Antique Books - $5.99".  It was an eclectic group.  Old nursing texts, classics in good bindings, law  books and one great, old kids book that came home with me.

I've seen this book before at way more money, even for a newer edition.  The story, by Margery Clark is not my favorite but it may be fun for a kid.  It's a series of several stories about a naughty little boy, a naughty goat, and a naughty little girl.  They all have aunts and uncles from the "Old Country".  I do love how the children and pets and loved and tolerated even if they are "naughty". It seems to be what was expected from children and pets. The illustrations are the prize.  They were done by Caldicot medal winners husband and wife team of Maude and Miska Petersham.  Miska is from Hungary and immigrated from "the old country" of Hungary.  He first came to England and then to the U.S where he met Maude.  Together they authored and/or illustrated over one hundred books in their lifetime.
 I love the clean, block print style with solid colors and black outlines.  Throughout the book there are two color graphics as accents and they are just amazing.
In checking this amazing couple out I couldn't resist ordering this beauty from Alibris.
 This has a 1950 copyright and both the BL Hubby and I remember it from grade school.  Check out this lusciousness. 

There's a bit more detail and shading in this work (26 years later).  Their style is still there in the limited color palette ( mostly gray, reds, black and yellow). I so love color that I can't believe I don't miss it.  They still rely on lots of line drawing with little pattern and shading but it feels deep and full.  Love - Love- Love!  Yup, I'm still fixating on happy Circus images even though I know Circus animals are so not approved of.  

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