Leslie Brooke's Animal Fair
(2021, 176 pages including a 16-page colour section, $23.95, 6 inches wide by 8.75 inches tall)
L. Leslie Brooke was a popular British creator of children’s picture-books in the early 1900s, praised by such later illustrators as Maurice Sendak and, in a foreword to this book, Wallace Edwards (“At first glance, Brooke’s work invites a second glance”). His specialty was exquisite drawings of animals with human expressions, coupled with a keen sense of humour that appealed to children and adults alike. From his own Johnny Crow series (Johnny Crow’s Garden, etc.) to his black-and-white and colour illustrations of rhymes (Ring O'Roses, The Truth About Old King Cole) and fairy tales (The Golden Goose Book, The House in the Wood), Brooke was a master draughtsman with an eye for witty details that went far beyond the text. This book collects his best work from 1891 to 1935.
From Johnny Crow’s Garden:
Then the Stork
Gave a Philosophic Talk
Till the Hippopotami
Said: “Ask no further ‘What am I?’”
While the Elephant
Said something quite irrelevant
And the Whale
Told a very long tale
In Johnny Crow’s Garden.
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