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Contemporary storybook illustration
As a child I felt very fortunate to have been confronted with children's novels released well before my day - it gave me a marvellous view of everything from designs and illustration to historic contents. The Modern Storybook" from the 1930s is a good example. The book was released in 1931 and by Wallace Wadsworth with pictures by Ruth Eger.
"Wallace Wadsworth's Modern Storybook", illustration by Ruth Eger. This much of what attracted me to picture volumes of that time is not only the look and feel of the drawings, but also the print technologies used in the publication. Although "The Modern Storybook" is a presentation of the state of the art/industry in America in the 1930s, another interesting feature is the overlapping with older agricultural sensitivities - the dissemination of contemporary forms of contemporary civilization had not yet fully penetrated the world.
Do you think you'd see a tugboat in a children's book today? After all, it is particularly ironical that my issue was released in 1937, the year of the Hindenburg catastrophe that put an end to aviation. Despite the innocence of this wonderful book, it is also a great chronology of this wonderful age.
Rattler " from " The Took A Holiday ". This is a double page from "The Tractor That Took A Holiday". The Stubborn Dirigible, published in 1935, also contains two tales from The Modern Storybook. "Runaway Elevator" is part of the new story "The Motor Boat That Went To School".
At the moment the 1931 edition of "The Modern Storybook" is available with a slightly reworked AND e-book-album! Wadsworth's picture book was also reprinted in 1945 with new artwork by Paul Pilson. I' ve got similar fears about this newer release of The Modern story book as with the newer releases of "The Little Engine That Could" (see above link).
For me, the upgraded designs and newer print processes are just not that delicious!