I never read ”The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as a child. It has never been as popular here as in the States. Not until I discovered Project Gutenberg did I get to know Frank Baum.
Yesterday I found his ” Twinkle and Chubbins, Their Astonishing Adventures in Nature-Fairyland” from 1911. It is illustrated by Maginal Wright Enright – an illustrator I know nothing about except that she was Frank Lloyd Wright’s sister. To tell you the truth I’ve spent more time looking at the pictures than reading the book. Some of the pictures have a strong resemblance with Japanese woodprints.
So she picked him out of the tub and placed him upon her hand. And the turtle said:
"Now pay strict attention, and do exactly as I tell you, and all will be well. In the first place, we want to get to the Black Mountains; so you must repeat after me these words: 'Uller; aller; iller; oller!'"
"Uller; aller; iller; oller!" said Twinkle.
The next minute it seemed as though a gale of wind had struck her. It blew so strongly against her eyes that she could not see; so she covered her face with one arm while with the other hand she held fast to the turtle. Her skirts fluttered so wildly that it seemed as if they would tear themselves from her body, and her sun-bonnet, not being properly fastened, was gone in a minute.
But it didn't last long, fortunately. After a few moments the wind stopped, and she found she could breathe again. Then she looked around her and drew another long breath, for instead of being in the back yard at home she stood on the side of a beautiful mountain, and spread before her were the loveliest green valleys she had ever beheld.
Another illustrator I never pass is Randolph Caldecott. Some of his illustrations are rather burlesque and might be better suited for grown-ups – but I guess kids love them too, looking at them differently. There is so much to see in every picture that I’m sure it has something for everybody.
”The Panjandrum Picture Book” which I found yesterday contains several stories of which only a couple are new to me. But no matter how many times I look at these pictures, I always find something new.