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Posts Tagged ‘illustration’

book shopping in tokyo: take that concept in. yes, it was very good and by day one of our trip i was well on my way to a potential excess baggage fee. the bookstore in the basement of the parco department store was heaven, and all of the books i want to show you today came from there. i could have come away with many, many more because the range, and the quality was amazing. but i’m not at all disappointed by what i brought home…

cheerful in 3 1/2 months

“cheerful in 3 1/2 months” is a really amusing book  by Gerard Jansen full of great colorful illustrations by Sue Doeksen.

"try to recreate junk food"

the book provides one tip per day for a 3 and a half month path to cheerfulness. and how could you not be cheerful at suggestions like inventing your own toilet choreography, jumping in a bouncy castle, and my #1 tip – “be your favorite piece of pie”.

50 jeux pour route l'anée illustrated by alain gree

was this for my son? no. no it wasn’t. i’ll just put it on the shelf next to my “worst mother ever” trophy.

sur le chemin

…i mean, sure, he can look at it – while wearing cotton gloves. when he’s 19.
inside the back of the book is a collection of stickers to be used in the various activities through the book. and if you know of a kiddo who would definitely appreciate this book, then you should get it for them because its filled with fabulous alain grée illustrations. and probably a fun way to learn french!

"colorful room of the japan"

“colorful room of the japan” is jam packed with some of the most “colorful room of the japan” you’ll ever see. but wait! there’s more..

goofy grape kitchen
not only rooms “of the japan” but also of the spain, and of the france! and there are some cute crafty decor projects too. i’d really love to tell you more but its all in “the japanese”.

its the... thing.. book! YAY!
so, i have NO idea what this is all about. but its PACKED with adorableness. anyone? leave a comment and enlighten me. it seems to be the inspiration files of a couple of designers – but i could be way off. its full of deers, and pandas so lets all look at some pandas!!

what do you think? should i go back and get some more books? go on. twist my arm!

its a small world: tokyo disneyland
in amongst all the shopping and eating we found ourselves with a ‘spare’ day towards the end of our trip – and disneyland just a short train ride away. what to do? we went to disneyland of course!! we got rained on, we queued for ages, we walked our feet to the bone (no seriously, i got the worst mega-blister ever – i think i could see bone).

i was interested to compare tokyo disneyland to the original disneyland in california, and it was largely the same – but different. it was bizarro world disneyland, where just about everything has a slight twist (the haunted mansion takes on a whole new threatening tone when the voice over is in intelligible japanese)! one of the best ‘twists’ though was the ‘small world’ ride. the ride itself was the same, but the exterior and the ‘load in’ were different – might i go so far as to say… better? take a virtual tour through the queuing area and admire the mary blair-inspired murals that set the tone for ‘the happiest cruise’ that ever sailed…

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland mural

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

its a small world: tokyo disneyland

friday street fantasy!

i received some very happy surprise mail yesterday: the gorgeous alex fulton gifted me this spectacularly groovy board book & 45 record! ‘friday street fantasy’ was published by paul hamlyn,sydney, 1969. aside from the party-in-an-ornamental-photo-lettering-catalog cover up there, its full of fab illustrations. and mysterious music…

a little book of songs + record

…unfortunately a small person i know jammed up our record player and so i haven’t heard the record yet. but for now, the illustrations:

friday street fantasy!
this is the town of Friday Street (yes. a town called street. ask bruce woodley). it was full of sad children until one day…


friday street fantasy!
…the friday man came to town with a rainbow in his hand!

friday street fantasy!

and now everyone in town sings and plays and has fun! aaahh pink and orange town!! i want to live there!

little one

the next song ‘little one’ is a lullaby (i assume from the lyrics …ahem, naughty record player breaking child). i like the dancing doll marionette!

captain grumblepeg
and this is captain grumblepeg, and his lady mary morningstar.


little miss sorrow

this is little miss sorrow.  her balloons are just beautiful, so i hope she’s not sad for long.


bruce woodley

in the back cover we meet bruce, singer and songwriter and member of the seekers (a famous australia folk group from the 60s). apparently he was 26 when he made this album!

paul corley, graphic designer and jeannette spencer, illustrator
and the creators of the colorful illustrations are paul corley and jeannette spencer. wherever they are now, i hope they’re still making bright and fun artwork for children!

thank you again alex, i will treasure this book!

3 ring circus - designed by draw! pilgrim

i’m so excited to show you a non-embargoed, extra colorful completed job i recently had the pleasure of working on. what do you think of the critters i created for 3 ring circus vintage? heather approached me to create a new identity for her fabulicious etsy store and well, how could i resist? heather, her store, her desire for vintage circus style: all very irresistible.

visit 3 Ring Circus on etsy

we agreed one of the great things about vintage circus ephemera was the cheap out-of-register printing, so i created the illustrations as though i was a human CMYK printer… all the while making those annoying clunky noises dot matrix printers did. because i’m very sophisticated and mature. don’t worry, i’ll record myself and you can download it as a ringtone.


make sure to stop by and shop 3 ring circus vintage, and tell ’em pilgrim sent you! if you’re interested in engaging my graphic design or illustrating services please contact me drawpilgrim at gmail dot com.

the old woman who lived in a vinegar bottle

written by rumer godden

illustrated by mairi hedderwick

published by macmillan, london, 1972

this book has been with me since i was little, and its possibly responsible for my love of patchwork. isn’t that a gorgeous cover? i really enjoy the pen and ink illustrations by mairi hedderwick. they evoke the colors and textures of the rugged parts of the UK countryside so well.

aren’t the pebbles and hillside rendered nicely? so washy and soft looking, with that added complexity of the pen lines. but on to the story…

the old woman lives a modest life in her vinegar bottle, which the author explains is most likely a modified oast house which bears a resemblance to old style stoneware vinegar bottles. her cat malt is well fed while she ekes out her existence on bread, trimmings from the butcher and a drop of milk for her tea.

one day while cleaning she finds a sixpence just as the fishing boats are coming to shore. she buys what she can from the fishermen – a small fish but she can’t bring herself to take it home and so she throws it back into the lake. just as she is leaving the fish calls to her. he is a prince and he offers to grant her anything she likes in return for saving his life. the old lady is stunned and thanks the fish but says she doesn’t need anything.

she returns home in a daze before realizing she has nothing to eat. nervously she returns to the lake and asks the fish for “a good hot dinner”. the fish tells her that when she goes home she will find one. at home the table is covered with roast beef and all the trimmings, bread and dessert, with milk and catnip for malt the cat. full from dinner, the old lady falls asleep and awakes later to a clear table and a note reading “another one tomorrow”.

that night a storm batters the vinegar bottle, and the following morning the old lady visits the fish if it would be too much trouble to have a little cottage. the old lady turns to head home and is met with a pretty little cottage. she walks through it in awe, but realizes her old furniture looks shabby and sparse. she once again asks the fish who grants her request. at home, in the new bedroom mirror the old lady sees how plain she looks. she asks the fish for new clothes and she’s immediately in a fresh new dress. at home her wardrobe is stocked with everything she could need. as she eats her dinner that night she realizes she no longer has clothes to work in and she couldn’t possibly get her new clothes dirty. she hurries to the lake and without greeting him, demands a maid.

“‘go home and you will find one’ said the fish. his voice was quiet … and a shade tired.”

at home, the old lady is irritated by the maid’s presence and the lack of her rocking chair. she hears the church bells and decides to go to church to show off her new clothes. but her shoes pinch and so she marches down to the fish to demand transportation. when she finds a cart and pony she sniffs in disdain and stamps back to the lake to explain she wanted a car. a car appears, but the old lady wanted a different car with a chauffeur.

the little fish did not say, “go home and you will find one,” but stood up out of the water on his silver tail. “you used to curtsey to me,” said the little fish. “yesterday you came and said ‘thank you’ before you touched a morsel of the dinner i sent you. that was yesterday, but now! you are a greedy and ungrateful old woman,” said the fish. “go back to your vinegar bottle.

back at the vinegar bottle everything was back to how it had been. the miserable old lady goes back to the lake to apologize and beg the fish’s forgiveness. the fish offered to restore the dinners, and cottage, and clothes, and maid and chauffeur for the repentant old lady, but she insisted that her and malt were best in the vinegar bottle. all they needed was a nice hot sunday dinner.

have we all learned a valuable lesson from the fish? i think i’d be happy with someone magically providing dinner!


graphic,regular feature

today’s bookpile book comes from the incredible collection of ms peta pledger. i couldn’t believe this book when i saw it its just so wholesome and sweet! its a lutheran-based ‘life education’ book. so if you’re still wondering where you came from or why you’re having these strange new feelings, read on! firstly, you should be a natty teen – i’m pretty sure if these preppy kids stripped down they’d be strategically covered by fig leaves.


wonderfully made, by ruth s hummel & w.j. fields
published by concordia publishing house, 1967
purchase a copy from amazon


recipe: take one man (preferably in a suit, shade of lime green not important) and one lady (must have petite waist and be partially transparent when standing by her man).


love brought you to life! also: ovaries. aren’t they neat and tidy looking? i hope mine have a groovy lettered sign like that.


this is where a baby lives. please note more fabulous typography. type like that makes the miracle of birth way better.


as a parent, i must point out that kids don’t produce giant purple, fun, lettering. its mostly shouting which is undetected by the eye, but doubly detected by your rapidly diminishing sense of hearing.


i’m captioning this illustration ‘valley of the doll: the joy of being a mother (or just the joy of those awesome sedatives everyone took in the 60s)’


i have a feeling this poor teen has been put in a coma by that wallpaper. so many roses! as you can see he tried to cover it a bit, but the pennants! they do nothing!


just one more bit of fabulous typography! can you imagine how this book would go down with the ‘youth’ today? i think their irony-meters would fall off!



how we go: lesley anne ivory

today’s vintage children’s book is another early reader. i love how charming the illustrations are. look closely and you’ll notice a subtle texture to the illustrations that reminds me a bit of a subtle version of eric carle’s pictures.







they’re very sweet aren’t they? i love the astronaut! and the picture of the children pretending to fly made me giggle, looks like they’re doing jazz-hands rather than actually trying to fly. and the cowboy appears to be getting about on tippy toes!


this vintage children’s book comes from my lovely friend peta pledger who was kind enough to share her amazing stash of vintage treasures with me. over the next few months i’ll be showing you some of the gems from her collections, and of course continuing sharing my own favorites.


having a little kid of my own has honed my appreciation for counting and alphabet books. previously i thought they were a bit meh, but now i adore the simplicity of a good ABC or 123 book. i’m a connoisseur of pre-school readers!


what immediately attracted me to this very simple book is the great type and colors. its all so bold and bright, and the icing on the cake is the fact that every page is slightly off-register, meaning the pages moved about during printing so the cyan, magenta, yellow and black don’t line up and you get that trippy kind of 3D effect.


dig the groovy chairs and bells. yeah, so there is no story, and obviously i have a lot less to tell you about this book, so feel free to skim my inane chattering!


how many dollies can you see? and how many dollies come alive at night and eat your precious eye jellies? that’s right! five!


i want all of those mugs. all of them. come into my kitchen, mugs, and i will look after you.


these houses are so cute! if only my neighborhood was filled with houses this colorful. we rent, but i don’t think our owner would mind if we decided to paint the exterior vivid lilac, hot pink and lime green, do you think?


i just love these big chunky numbers! there was a house in our street that had a big number seven in this ‘playbill’ kind of style, and i kept forgetting to take a photo of it until last month… but they’ve replaced the fence and the number is gone!! so let that be a lesson to ye. fascinating story, non?

today’s book pile book is slightly out of style with my regular crazy psychedelic features, but i wanted to share this with you because its fascinating and beautiful in such a different way. this book belonged to my grandmother, who recently gave it to me to share with my son seeing as i enjoyed it so much, growing up.

the grateful crane
direction by kozo shimizu
text by ann herring
published by gakken, 1972

the story is the traditional japanese tale of the grateful crane, or the crane wife as its sometimes known. the illustrations are created with specifically constructed dolls in collage that give the story literal depth as well as creating an aesthetic link to the heritage of the tale. the textures of the rice paper, wood and woven fabric all evoke a very beautiful, very japanese story.

an old man finds a crane caught in a trap. he frees the crane and it flies off joyously beating its wings. later that night the old man and his wife take in a beautiful young lady who claims to have lost her way in the snow. the beautiful girl stays with them and becomes their adopted daughter, whom they call o-tsuru “miss crane” as she’s tall and graceful.

she offers to weave the old couple some fabric, however she insists she must be left alone in the weaving loft. for three days she works tirelessly, and the couple begin to worry for her health. at last she emerges with a bolt of finished brocade. couple are astonished at the fine quality of fabric she’s created. she tells the old couple to sell the cloth.

a merchant comes to see the cloth and tells the couple its the finest cloth he’s ever seen. he pays them in gold, and they are amazed at all the riches they’ve earned.

the village children love o-tsuru, and her kind and cheerful nature have warmed the once lonely house. again she asks to use the loom to weave another bolt of cloth. she reminds the couple not to look, but the old lady’s curiosity gets the better of her, she can’t understand how such beautiful fabric can come from the old loom. she looks in on o-tsuru and finds a crane plucking its feathers and weaving them into the cloth.

suddenly the crane disappears and o-tsuru tells the old couple that she is the crane the old man saved. she thanks them for their care and tells them she must go. she changes back into a crane and flies off into the mountains.

alligator pie,
poems by dennis lee
pictures by frank newfeld
macmillan, 1974

isn’t it fantastic when you find a friend who just gets your taste? it makes this cold and lonely world just that little bit smaller when you find a kindred spirit like that, and i’m lucky to have a few friends who get me. thats how i came to own a copy of ‘alligator pie’. the most definitely awesome peta pledger came to visit bearing thrifted gifts of amazing vintage children’s books and i knew i just had to share them with you.

detail from the title page

i had never heard of ‘alligator pie’, but its apparently big in japan canada and for all i know it could be the national anthem (hello canadian readers, i like your turtle chocolates. feel free to send me many and in exchange i’ll learn your national anthem and more about your culture – but mostly about other chocolates i can get there).

illustration accompanying ‘bouncing song’

most of all i was taken by the fantastic illustrations by frank newfeld. as you’ll see from the pictures, his style is just so much fun and paired with the nonsense poems it all makes perfect (non)sense!

illustration accompanying ‘in kamloops’

a poem thats mostly just threats at cannibalism. but y’know, rhyming. hence all the body parts in that very attractive neoclassical cabinet.

illustration accompanying ‘billy batter’

pictured we see the authors father being taken away by a dragon. unfortunately in the second verse his mother is taken away by a monster as well, so really no happy endings here.

illustration accompanying ‘like a giant in a towel’

an ode to that delicious bed warmth…

and when the giants realize
that no one’s scared of their disguise,
they go to bed and close their eyes-
they’re glad their beds are warm;
they’re glad their beds are warm.

illustration accompanying ‘i found a silver dollar’

isn’t the lettering for ‘zoo’ just fantastic? it may not surprise you that frank newfeld is the co founder and president of the society of graphic designers of canada. yesiree, it takes a society founder to wield a type that fancy!

i hope you’ve enjoyed the peek into this amusing book. if you’re interested in getting a copy for yourself click this link. i would have adored this book as a kid. so much color and type, and the poems are so fun, but its pretty enjoyable as an adult too and that has to be the secret to an enduring kid’s book!