The launch of the Kindle got me thinking about all the things an e-reader can never be. You can't inscribe it to a loved one or press flowers between it's pages. It can never be an object, loved and cherished and passed from person to person, with any history. Your children cannot draw upon the pages and fill it with precious memories. Illustrations look terrible on it, especially art, which needs a grand scale. For these reasons and many more, help me celebrate the real thing: dusty old books!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Another garden

From my friend Saviour. A lovely vintage edition...


  1. The "garden" is such strong symbolism and it really shows with this cover illustration. I so like that the girl looks so...I want to say apprehensive but I mean something a little softer and less worrying...as far as children's faces go it's a very accurate expression for an under two. Aren't the shadows perfect?

  2. It's true. even the symbol of a gate opening...is lovely. I wonder how much the artist considered these things; I suspect it's an instinctive reaction to the whole idea of a garden, deep rooted in our culture. Of course it comes from paradise doesn't it - the whole idea a garden?

    It's quite a literal picture in a way that few illustrators dare to be (or are allowsed to be) today. I don't think modern digital illustrations could capture that moment of vulnerable two year old softeness!

  3. This book was illustrated by Eloise Wilkin in 1957. The girl on the cover features in many of the pictures inside, making her and her family the main characters in the poems. Thus the 'garden' of the title is transformed into her 'life playground.