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Ben Franklin, Lewis Carroll, and Beatrix Potter

Benjamin Franklin

Site Updated: 05/07/06

Grandfather’s Garden Mystery Artist

The enjoyment of the work of the great children’s book artists is for some of us one of life’s cherished pleasures.

For the afficionado, few things are comparable to the quirky Victorian delights of Edward Lear. Or Tenniel’s arch or dapper postured illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The snuffling or quacking charm of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit or Jemima Puddleduck. The intimate wonder of the woodland community of E.H.Shepherd’s drawings for the Winnie-the-Pooh books and Kenneth Graham’s Wind in the Willows. Or more recently Ludwig Bemelman’s gay straying water colors for Madeline, and Where the Wild Things Are and the work in general of today’s greatest, Maurice Sendak.

What is it about these illustrations that makes them stand out from all the rest? Is it the touching portrayal of community? The bite of loving insight? The charm of line and form — but also of the deep insight that the poet John Keats captured in those lines, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know, and all ye need to know.”

One senses that in looking at the great children’s book artists one is unconsciously absorbing something of what advances rather than ignores or discourage human evolution.

For many years we’ve been convinced that— if properly encouraged—there lurked within a certain talented “grown up” artist this rare capacity to reconnect with the world of the child within the best of us.

Herein follows a sample of her first set of sketches for a “children’s book,” also BFPress’s first experiment in this genre — “The Carnival of Vegetables.”

Beans
Eggplant to Elephant 
Carrot to Lion Tamer
     

Scheduled for first print media publication in the Christmas issue of the Montessori Foundation’s magazine “Tomorrow’s Children,” this story comes from our online serial experiment with a playful “riff” with evolution on many levels, Grandfather’s Garden.

ATTN: Art Directors — as well as Editors, Agents, Writers and Publishers.

Do you have a children’s book that could use the fresh appeal of a fetching new talent?

If not right now, maybe later?

Let us know. We’re here to launch and share her. With proper ID and info backup we’ll put you directly in touch.

Elliot Sanders,
Global Marketing Manager
BFPress

elliotsanders@benjaminfranklinpress.com
P.O.Box 222581
Carmel, CA 93922-2851

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