THE RANDOLPH CALDECOTT TREASURY by Elizabeth T.--Ed. Billington

THE RANDOLPH CALDECOTT TREASURY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

On the hundredth anniversary of the publication of Caldecott's first picture book, The House That Jack Built, Warne has honored his memory--and done its sensible bit to keep his work alive--by publishing an album of ""representative"" work preceded by critical and scholarly ballast. Maurice Sendak expands on earlier appreciative remarks (notably, in his Caldecott Medal acceptance speech) to write what will probably go down as Caldecott's epitaph--and to make a few simple, basic observations about picture books that can't be bettered. Editor Elizabeth Billington's long, personal pursuit of Caldecott in situ (""Having spent a pleasant hour exploring the church,"" etc.) will please those who like that sort of thing and at least fill in the particulars of the artist's life for others. (The color photographs here, it should be said, are execrable.) Michael Hutchins' discussions of Caldecott's collaboration with printer Edmund Evans is well-informed and admirably clear on matters of technique. The illustrations offer a selection of works from the artist's entire career: his newspaper drawings, examples of his magazine articles, pictures from the travel books and the Ewing and Irving volumes, and four complete picture books (The House That Jack Built, . . . John Gilpin, The Milkmaid, Hey Diddle Diddle), plus a few appendages to each. The aficionado might have wished for more unpublished drawings from Caldecott's remarkable sketch books, but that would be a worthy project for some endowed institution. The book is printed in the characteristic brown ink on buff, and both the line blocks and the color plates appear to be faithfully reproduced. The book will spread joy, provide enlightenment, and assuredly draw new attention to this great draughtsman and dramatist.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1978
Publisher: Warne