The House That Jack Built

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Read Books, 2010 - Nursery rhymes - 38 pages
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Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886) was one of the most important British illustrators. He transformed the world of decorated children's books in the Victorian era. In 1877, he was asked by Edmund Evans, the colour printer and talented engraver, to illustrate two children's books. These books were an immediate success and he went on to produce two books every Christmas until he died. Caldecott chose all the stories and rhymes he illustrated and occasionally wrote and added to the stories himself. His delightful style and humour can still be enjoyed by young and old alike. This story, 'The House That Jack Built', was was one of the first two books illustrated by Caldecott and was originally published in 1878. Many of the earliest children's books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Pook Press are working to republish these classic works in affordable, high quality, colour editions, using the original text and artwork so these works can delight another generation of children.

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About the author (2010)

Heralded as the greatest artist of the triumvirate of modern illustrators that included Greenaway and Crane, Randolph Caldecott is highly praised for introducing techniques of animation into picture book art and for his humorous, satiric extensions of the text in his illustrations. Caldecott's fame centers on 16 books, often referred to as the "Toy Books," reprinted by Edmund Evans in his innovative printing techniques, featuring mainly traditional nursery rhymes and songs, and published in pairs. They include: The House That Jack Built (1865), The Diverting History of John Gilpin (written by William Cowper) (1878), Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog (written by Oliver Goldsmith) (1979), Babes in the Wood (1879), Sing a Song of Sixpence (1880), The Three Jovial Huntsmen (1880), The Farmer's Boy (1881), The Queen of Hearts (1881), The Milkmaid (1882), Hey Diddle Diddle with Baby Bunting (1882), A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go (1883), and The Fox Jumps over the Parson's Gate (1884). Caldecott generally drew his illustrations in sepia applied with a brush rather than a pen; he included an average of three uncolored illustrations for each colored one. He has received praise for his fluid style, which created a sense of movement across a page and from one page to another; he is also lauded for his insight into human nature and instinctive grasp of what appeals to children. Each year the American Library Association awards a highly coveted medal in his name to the best illustrated book by an American author.

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