Friday, June 24, 2011

The art of the North Wind

Now and again, a book comes through my hands here at the shop which makes me stop in spite of the hurry of business. Today as I was pricing a 1950 copy of George MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind, I had one of those "stop and smell the roses" moments. The binding of this book, while fairly solid, is not what makes it special. What makes it special (beyond its lovely storytelling) is the series of wonderful illustrations that pepper its pages.

George and Doris Hauman illustrated this edition, and their work is simple, lively, and enchanting without being too airy-fairy, just as it should be. Working in bold but fine black linework, paired with a pale aqua-blue ink to offset it and give shade or color where needed, these pieces are enough to charm any reader.

I thought you all might enjoy seeing some of the pieces as much as I did as I leafed through these pages. You can click on the images to see more detail.
The facing title page
Each chapter heading is graced with a drawing.
Little Boy Blue calls to everything in the woods
"Now let's go and dig for stars."

The Haumans are also the ones who did the illustrations for the 1961 edition of The Little Engine That Could.

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