Monday, December 7, 2009

A Showcase for Illustrations

I've just discovered another inspiring shrine on the interweb: Curious Pages (thanks to Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves). The tagline of the site is "recommended inappropriate books for kids," but they aren't really inappropriate as much as they are just plain odd.

It's created by illustrators Lane Smith (of The Stinky Cheese Man fame) and Bob Shea (Dinosaur vs. Bedtime), and I imagine they started it to showcase the work of favorite illustrators whose work is no longer well known, but deserves to be seen. (A few of the books are pretty recent, so I may be wrong about the "no longer" part of that.)

Each book includes Smith and Shea's brief and clever analysis, and a concluding thought on why children will like it. As I scrolled down the page, the book that made me stop and look more slowly was this one:

Cover of a Bob and Ray book
Talk about cartoon modern!

Which was followed by large scans of a 1948 article about Dr. Seuss (written by his wife, Helen P. Geisel, author of the classic A Fish Out of Water), an obscure Watty Piper book (not The Little Engine That Could), and then this stunning minimalist version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Nightingale (translated into Hebrew), with illustrations by Amos Hetz:

Two images from The Nightingale

Not to mention a Lois Lenski title I've never heard of, the Mud Book by John Cage and Lois Long (1950s), Dr. Seuss drawing Gerald McBoing Boing, and a compilation of six different Gingerbread Man and Runaway Pancake books:

The Runaway Pancake
I think I read this book at the doctor's office when I was a kid.

Curious Pages just launched in October, so I almost feel as though I've gotten in on the ground floor. Check it out before the pancake gets away!


Ms Sparrow said...

I was startled to see that Bob and Ray did a children's book. They were really inventive comics. And more creative than I realized!

Kickcan and Conkers said...

Just found that site too and fell in love with the same Nightingale designs. Great find :)