I have an illustration that I slid off of an eBay auction about a billion years ago, when you could still do that. I loved it so much, I tried to make jewelry, print it, do various and sundry things, but as it goes, dpi is notoriously low on eBay and most of the world of eBay, because it doesn’t take much to render a picture pretty nice looking on your screen. A few other images were purloined that long ago day, but none of them did I remember to jot down title, author, illustrator, or publisher. I only remember I couldn’t afford the book with the super fairy tale picture, and that was that. Since then I’ve been sporadically perusing bookfinder, google, eBay, etsy, trying to locate the original source of the picture. The only clue I had were the artist’s initials and last name. F. S. Cooke. Not an individual I’d heard of, but then I have found through the years that there are far more golden age illustrators than just a few well publicized ones like Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, the Robinson brothers, Jessie Wilcox Smith etc. Children’s book illustrators in the teens, twenties and thirties seem to be numerous–from pictures for school book primers, to endless renditions of Mother Goose, to magazine covers. A magazine cover of an odd thing called Etude, confirmed that a F. S. Cooke did exist, and had created an ingenious piece of artwork for a magazine devoted to high falutin’ music. A little row of houses in the shape of musical instruments in candy colors certainly catches the eye, and his Deco sensibility is exactly what I love. I realized then that I had a couple Etude magazines with front covers with his artwork. Inside the magazine there is nothing–well, nothing that I care about, I suppose music lovers would disagree, ha. So what else did this man, I assumed it was a man because it usually is, what else did he do?
Another ABE e-mail came my way and I was surprised to see it was about the illustrator of children’s books, Kate Greenaway. Her work is everywhere-that’s what public domain can do for a long dead artist. I knew nothing about her life, the article at ABE sheds some light on it, and the fact … Read more
Once again, I tripped over an episode of mock conservative Stephen Cobert’s show, and low and behold, he’s interviewing the famous children’s writer and illustrator–Maurice Sendak. If you’ve not seen Colbert–think of a fake sincere smart aleck whose comebacks are fast and furious, and usually hilarious. I find it hard to believe in this day … Read more
Sometimes subjects and ideas for articles are slim, and I struggle to come up with something meaningful, challenging, and pithy. Well, this is not a pithy one. It’s more of a dreamy reminiscence. About one book that trumps all others in my life. Mother Goose rhymes, nursery rhymes, captured me as a little tyke, and … Read more
When my best friend’s mother passed away, Bob wanted to give me a thousand dollars from her estate to do with as I pleased. I was gobsmacked. I loved his mother, of course, and was saddened by her passing. She had been ill for years with dementia, and Bob had been there for her throughout, … Read more
No, I don’t mean self help titles or sob stories, but how a book feels in your hands while reading it. ABE books again came up with an interesting topic, tactile reading.I know I send links to ABE a lot, but they have fantastic collections and ideas that are unusal in the book world. So, … Read more
I say bookshops, because although they have a website stating Stella and Rose’s Books, Stella is at one location, and Rose another. Both stores are open 7 days a week, and look to be at lovely locations within the British Isles, Tintern and Hay-on-Wye. I bought several of my sought after versions of … Read more