Inspiration: Book Trails

Book Trails was a seven-volume set of short stories and poems for children published in 1928. I have two of these volumes, filled with great art, much of it in color. I've decided to upload an image every couple of days as inspiration to us modern illustrators.

Many of the illustrations are unsigned, and there is no illustrator credit in the volumes I have. There's a real range of styles, from more Arthur Rackham type watercolors to images that seem inspired by Rockwell Kent. Anyhow, here we go with this image of the Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee, a dapper rascal with an improbable mustache. This one is signed by Keith Ward, who appears to have worked in advertising later on. If the dates for his life are correct, he created this illustration at age 21 or 22--not bad at all!


PaperSmyth said...

My 6th Grade teacher read "The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee" from this book as a training exercise for us to listen to, then draw. She awarded a rather hansom prize for the best work which was most faithful to the poem. (Alas, I did not win the prize! I was, apparently, a poor listener at that age.) Thanks so much for resurrecting the memory!

Anonymous said...

Our family still has all the Book Trails, even unto the third generation. Mom had to scrape every penny together to buy them, but we read them over and over, and when we all grew up and had our 10 kids (among all the siblings) THEY loved them and quoted from them, and the books are still holding up for the next generation of 14, who love For Baby Feet and the next one. Love the Pirate!