Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Richard Kennedy illustrates Crispin

Meet Crispin, the star of this 1975 book by William Herschell who is perhaps better known for his previous childrens' book King Lizard. Crispin in 13 and has grown up happily on a farm until now when he is told that he is not the natural son of the farmer and his wife and his 'real' mother is claiming him back.  

Regular readers will know that I am somewhat enamored by this style of illustration so prevalent in childrens' books of the 60s-80s and, despite all my pleading, no-one has been able to come up with an apposite and pithy name for the style. These are by Richard Kennedy, a prolific illustrator of (mainly) childrens' books whose career began at the age of 16 in the print room of the Hogarth Press with Leonard and Virginia Woolf, an experience which he later wrote about and illustrated in his book A Boy At The Hogarth Press. After the war he began to make his career in illustration and his output included over 40 books for 'backward' readers published by Benn as well as nearly 20 titles by Eilis Dillon. Other authors illustrated include Eleanor Farjeon, Moncia Edwards and Elizabeth Gouge

What is noticeable about the images in this book are how well he had observed the many odd and difficult bodily positions that a 13 year old can get into, many of which positions most adults have completely forgotten about, let alone the emotions they attend.

1 comment:

eArnie Painter said...

I would call this style Scribble Drawing. It's not real clever, but it is a thing.

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