Illustrations

Thumbelina illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

One of the great childhood pleasures while being read a bedtime story was the anticipation of looking at the pictures. Some of our fairy story books were old editions with captions written on a thin tissue-paper front piece which covered each picture – a delicate veil that was lifted to reveal the secret, precious world below. Others were ‘modern’, printed in the fifties and sixties, like the ‘Golden Books’. Some of these vintage illustrations seem a little twee now, although I loved them at the time.  These folk stories from around the world gave me an abiding fascination for foreign places and cultures. I still love illustrations, too,  and can spend hours lost in looking at them, recalled to that magical childlike feeling that anything that can be imagined might be ‘real’. Here are some of my childhood favourites.

‘A beautiful little girl clad in rich garments stood on the threshold smiling.’ Undine, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

 

‘When the storm threatened to burst on their heads, she uttered a laughing reproof to the clouds. ‘Come, come,’ saith she, ‘look to it that you wet us not.” Undine, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

‘He could see Undine beneath the crystal vault.’ Undine, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

‘There he found the Princess asleep, and saw that her face was the face he had seen in the portrait.’ The Firebird, illustrated by Edmund Dulac.

‘The Prince took a carriage drawn by three great frogs with great big wings . . . Truitonne came out mysteriously by a little door.’ The Blue Bird, illustrated by Edmund Dulac.

The Princess and the Pea, illustrated by Edmund Dulac.

‘Urashima was so enchanted that he could not speak a word.’ Urashimo Taro, illustrated by Edmund Dulac.

‘In her frantic struggles the hood of her cloak fell back from her dazzling golden hair, and immediately the whole place was flooded with light.’ The Buried Moon, Edmund Dulac’s Fairy-Book.

‘. . . as Daphne was, Root-bound, that fled Apollo.’ Comus illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

‘. . . the stars That nature hung in Heav’n, and fill’d their Lamps with everlasting oil, to give due light To the misled and lonely traveller.’ Comus illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Cinderella, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

The Voice, illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone.

The Golden Goose illustrated by Gustaf Tenngren

The King of Underland, illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone.

The Shadow, illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone.

The Golden Goose, illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

Thumbelina, illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

Bedtime Stories illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

The Shy Little Kitten illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

Snow White and Rose Red illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

Snow White and Rose Red illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

Snow White and Rose Red illustrated by Gustaff Tenggren.

The Colour Kittens illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen.

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Snow White and Rose Red illustrated by Gustaf Tenngren.

 

Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by Gustaf Tenngren

The Colour Kittens illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, illustrated by Gustaff Tenggren.

Arabian Nights, illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.

Ifara and the Monster, illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone.

The White Briony Fairy, illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker.

The Snow Queen, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

The Snow Queen, illustrated by Edmund Dulac.

The Ungrateful Snake, illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone.

Frost, illustrated by Dimitri Mitrokhin.

The Three Men of Power, Evening, Midnight and Sunrise, illustrated by Dimitri Mitrokhin.

The Little Mermaid, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

The Cat Who Walked by Himself, illustrated by Rudyard Kipling

The Princess and the Goblins, illustrated by George Macdonald.