I can’t actually remember when or where I first happened across the bold & colourful illustrations of John J. Reiss.
He’s the author and illustrator of a trio of young children’s books, Numbers, Shapes and Colors. He also illustrated Statistics a young children’s maths book written by Jane Jonas Srivastava.
Although highly regarded, he doesn’t seem to be that well-known outside of his home city of Milwaukee. He worked extensively there designing exhibition catalogues, launch invitations and ads for the city’s Art Center (now Museum).
There is quite a detailed biography of the designer on the museum’s blog, written only last month.
Rodney Peppé is a children’s book author and illustrator as well as being a paper artist and mechanical toy maker. He’s probably best know by young children of the late 80s to the present for his two series of books – Huxley Pig and Angelmouse.
We’ve not written a book review in AGES and this one’s just a little bit different to our usual fare.
Home Sweet Home is a children’s book – recommended for ages 5+. However, even as adults, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it… and, as regular readers will know, we appreciate and collect iconic children’s books!
Published earlier this month (October 2017), it was written by Mia Cassany and beautifully illustrated by Paula Blumen.
Throughout the 40 pages, you’re shown around various interiors & exteriors from around the world – guided by the pets-in-residence.
There’s Eva the St Bernard in Iceland, Coco the cat in Brooklyn… there’s even a tortoise named Taiki who lives in Kyoto, Japan!
This book is a really fun way for kids (and grown-ups!) to find out about other parts of the world. It teaches facts such as San Francisco is very hilly, Giethoorn in the Netherlands is car-free and that houses in Ibiza are painted white to reflect the light and keep them cool.
It’s a book that warrants plenty of return visits.
It’s such a charming read…
…and the illustrations are full of lovely detail that reveal something new every time you flick through the pages.
This book is a fantastic Christmas or birthday present for any pet-loving, budding interior decorator!
Vintage children’s books illustrators are always one of our favourite subjects for Designer Desire. This week, we’ve chosen award-winning illustrator and author, William Stobbs (1914-2000).
Originally from South Shields in Tyne and Wear, he attended Durham School of Art before being taken on as a draughtsman at Rolls-Royce.
Stobbs taught at the London School of Printing and Kindred Trades (now the London College of Communication) prior to becoming head of Maidstone College of Art (now the Kent Institute of Art & Design) where he stayed for 21 years.
In 1955 he illustrated Ronald Welch’s Knight Crusader, which won the Carnegie Medal, “the UK’s oldest and most prestigious book award for children’s writing”. Four years later, he won a double Kate Greenaway Medal for his children’s books illustrations for Kashtanka by Anton Chekhov (see the illustration top-right) and A Bundle of Ballads by Ruth Manning-Sanders.
He returned to one of his life-long favourite subjects – cars – publishing picture books entitled, A Mini called ZAC, A Rolls called ARK and A Car called Beetle (see second illustration from bottom, right).
Most of the books he illustrated are now out-of-print. However, vintage copies can be picked up easily from Abe Books, Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
Today, sadly, William Stobbs is little-known and under-appreciated – we couldn’t even find an image online of what the designer looked like.
Having not grown up in the UK, Jan Pieńkowski unfortunately passed me by until recently. Luckily, I’ve discovered his wonderful, award-winning illustrations as an adult.
Today’s kids will know him as the co-creator (with Helen Nicoll) of Meg and Mog. People of my age, will know his earlier graphic work from his time working on the BBC’s Watch children’s programme in the early 70s – where he first met Nicoll.
We just have to share the the Jessie Gertrude Townsend’s limerick that accompanied his illustration in their Annie, Bridget and Charlie collaboration… you’ll know why!
H is for Horrid young Hannah,
Who has the most shocking bad manner.
She went out to dine
With a party of nine
And she ate every single banana.
His illustrated children’s books (many of which are still in publication) are readily available on WHSmith, Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
This week, we’re drawing your attention to the fantastic work of Teeside-born and Brighton-based Sean Sims. We first mentioned him in our Tuesday Huesday series way back in 2012 and he’s produced lots more great designs in the years since then.
His work ranges from children’s book illustrations, aircraft in-flight meal snack boxes, posters, greetings cards, gift wrap, magazine covers… even a jigsaw puzzle! Last autumn, he designed one of the 44 Snowdogs that were auctioned off on behalf of The Martlets Hospice.