Pictured Worlds : Masterpieces of Children’s Book Art by 101 Essential Illustrators from Around the World

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Author: Leonard S Marcus

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A lavishly illustrated, large-format reference book highlighting the work of 101 top children’s illustrators

The illustrated children’s book came of age in the 18th century alongside the rising middle-class demand for economic and social advancement. Inspired by philosopher John Locke’s prescient insights into child development, London publisher John Newbery established the first commercial market for illustrated “juveniles” in the West, and the impact of the model he set for books tailored to the interests and capabilities of young readers has spanned the globe, spurring higher literacy rates, cultural enfranchisement, and a better life for generations of children.

In Pictured Worlds, renowned historian Leonard S. Marcus shares his incomparable knowledge of this global cultural phenomenon in the definitive reference work on children’s book illustration. The author of more than 25 award-winning books, Marcus here highlights an international roster of 101 artists of the last 250 years whose touchstone achievements collectively chart the major trends and turning points in the history of children’s book illustration. While some illustrators explored in this lively volume (John Tenniel, Maurice Sendak) have become household names, Marcus’s wide-ranging survey also shines a light on several lesser-known figures whose unique contributions merit a closer look. The result is a sweeping chronicle of a vibrant art form and cultural driver that has touched the lives of literate peoples everywhere. Over 400 illustrations showcase landmark books from Great Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Czech Republic, Russia, Japan, China, Korea, Bulgaria, Argentina, Cameroon, and more.

Each illustrated entry is comprised of an artist’s biography and career overview and a deep-dive look at a pivotal book and its legacy. Featured books include Ivan Bilibin’s The Golden Cockerel, Leo Lionni’s Inch by Inch, Richard Doyle’s In Fairyland, Kveta Pacovská’s OneFiveMany, Helen Oxenbury’s We’re Going On a Bear Hunt, Mitsumasa Anno’s Anno’s Journey, and Zhu Cheng-Liang’s A New Year’s Reunion, as well as the books that introduced such iconic characters as Alice, Max, Struwwelpeter, the Little Prince, and Winnie-the-Pooh. At once a celebration of illustrated children’s books and an essential reference work, Pictured Worlds encapsulates, in the author’s words, “the special nature of the illustrated children’s book as a cultural enterprise that is at once a rewarding art form, a bridge across cultures, and a ladder between generations.”