Researching nursery rhyme illustrations I came across this gem by Charles Folkard (1878-1963) and couldn’t wait to share it with you. I bought it as a single sheet, but have no idea as to the title of the book it’s from. Paramount amongst childrens’ book illustrators, Folkard started out as a conjuror, (no wonder his pictures are so magical), but turning to illustration he created the Teddy Tail character for the Daily Mail and is famous for The Arabian Nights, Grimms’ Fairy Tales and Pinocchio.
I first came across his work when many years ago I bought Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes, edited by L.Edna Walter. Apart from his four coloured pictures, this 1924 edition has Folkard drawings liberally spotting the text, including some exquisite silhouettes. I’ll always remember where and when I bought it, on a hot summer’s afternoon in Great Malvern in that bookshop that’s at the top of the steps leading up from the gardens in front of the Priory. I looked down on them from a hot stuffy little room and saw Edward Elgar slowly walking towards the Priory with his dogs. For only a second or two, but that’s another story.