Monday, January 16, 2012

Inspiring Illustrations

For this week's Inspiring Illustrations I choose pictures from the Little Golden Book, The Happy Little Whale! My copy is from 1960 and according to the front cover was only $0.25 back then!


The book is about a little whale who was captured at sea and taken to an aquarium. She was very sad at first but then by the end she was very happy to be there (trying to make it sound like capturing wild animals out of their natural habitats is ok, are we? ).... While I find the book is a bit off the mark with today's animal rights standards (it WAS published in 1960), I really enjoy the illustrations!
Don't you just LOVE the bunting in the above picture?? The illustrations were done by Tibor Gergely. Gergely was born in Budapest in 1900. He was a mischeivious boy who would get in trouble at school for always sketching cartoons of his teachers, normally on the blackboard when they would leave the room. He would always carry around a sketchbook and his family thought he would grow up to be an engineer.
His desire to become an artist was reinforced when he was nineteen. He happened
to pass some paintings by Goya and Cezanne leaning against a fence in
Bulyovszky Street in Budapest and he knew he was to be an artist. Which he WAS - living in Budapest and Vienna for a time with his wife, artist Anna Lesznai. He illustrated books and magazines.
In 1939 Gergely and Lesznai immigrated to America when it became clear that the German annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia would extend to Hungary. They remained in America for the rest of their lives.
Gergely’s career as an American illustrator began shortly after arriving in New York when he met Georges Duplaix, head of production at Artists and Writers Guild. In 1940 they collaborated on Topsy Turvy Circus and The Merry Shipwreck was published the following year.
In 1942, when Duplaix became head of the new Graphics Department at Simon and Schuster, he introduced Gergely to Lucille Ogle, the author who was instrumental in creating Golden Books. She became his editor for many years and he soon became one of the most beloved Golden Book illustrators. Over the course of his illustrious career, Tibor Gergely created iconic images for more than seventy Little Golden Books.


This book is Ms. Batista approved!!

** I found out a lot about Tibor Gergely at his official website

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