Tuesday, 28 December 2010

This Year Next Year

Though this fine example of the work of illustrator Harold Jones (1904-92) was first published in 1937 it has a genuinely timeless quality. Verses on seasonal themes written by Walter de la Mare are paired with lithographed images of disarming freshness and vitality. According to information in the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection*, the illustrations preceded the poems. The colour and texture of the English countryside, the invigorating English seaside and the measured pace of small town life are brought to life in Jones’s deceptively simple pen and colourwash illustrations employing a line that is simultaneously sensitive and incisive. Harvest time in high summer, the bare outlines of winter trees, autumn’s log piles and slanting rains, the drama of rockpools and seaside entertainment are organised into beautifully calibrated compositions. The selection that follows includes two double page spreads (to demonstrate the felicitous combination of image and text) and some paired illustrations on similar themes.

* The Harold Jones Papers are to be found at the University of Southern Mississippi in the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection.

Please follow this link for an interview from 1986 with Harold Jones in the magazine, Books For Keeps.

And Chris Mullen has a generous selection of Harold Jones material at the Alphabet of Illustrators.

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