Monday, 20 April 2015

100 Great Children's Picture Books by Martin Salisbury (Laurence King Publishing)

100 Great Children's Picture Books
Written by Martin Salisbury

Illustrated by Various

Published by Laurence King Publishing

This is a truly fascinating picture book resource that perhaps should've been called "100 Great Children's Picture Books you have never seen before, but will be absolutely blown away by!" Picture book expert Martin Salisbury has compiled a mouthwatering treasure trove of children's books stretching right back to the very beginning of the illustrated picture book format for children, and showing that all the ideas, art styles and amazing writing we know in children's picture books today has roots that go back as far as the late 19th century.

With a ton of photographs of Martin's enviable collection, you'll find many many works that will provide inspiration and insight to anyone who's interested in children's books, whether you write them or write about them, illustrate for them or are a parent who has a few loft treasures tucked away in the attic that you really ought to bring out and dust down.

"The Slant Book" by Peter Newell - A really simple but hugely effective idea with glorious illustrations
Spanning the globe and examining some of the most influential children's books of the last hundred or so years, there are surprises in store. You'll see just how artists and authors made use of the limited resources available and limited colour palettes to produce simple but hugely effective and entertaining children's stories.

Lucy Brown and Mr Grimes by Edward Ardizzone - Utterly fantastic!
Some well known artists and authors, as well as some you've never heard of before, are featured in this exhaustive tome thoroughly researched and beautifully presented. We were completely wowed by some of the booky discoveries we made while leafing through this big thick and satisfying collection including works by Edward Ardizzone that we'd never heard of before (he's a bit of a 'thing' for us at the moment, thanks to recent reprints of his fantastic "Little Tim" books, one of which is featured in this collection). 

What struck me was how ideas you'd imagine were fairly new and modern were actually nothing of the sort. Ingenious tricks like using cutouts in pages, or 'lift the flap' books have actually been around for a very long time, pioneered back when limited print runs of books came nowhere near approaching the sort of numbers modern publishing deals with. 

"Say with Me" - A completely entrancing and beautiful book from Poland. 
This is a luxurious book to get lost in for hours and as mentioned before, it's hugely inspirational particularly if (like me) you love a good scribble and want some new ideas or new directions to go in with your art. 

A truly magical collection. 

"100 Great Children's Picture Books" by Martin Salisbury is out today from Laurence King Publishing, RRP £24.95.

Charlotte's best bit: Too many favourites to choose from amongst these gorgeous books but she really loved the look of the original Moomins Cut Out Books and a Babar story she hadn't previously heard of

Daddy's Favourite bit: Loved the simplicity behind the "Slant Book" - Such a great idea! All in all, a glorious and inspirational collection of children's books, most of which we'd never heard of but really want to find out more about. Brilliant!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Laurence King Publishing)