Père Castor

perecastor1

As a small boy Père Castor’s Wild Animal Books were a magical introduction to nature, along with Beatrix Potter’s stories. The series of eight books first published in France in the late 1930s were brought out in English just post war.

perecastor2

What caught my imagination were the illustrations. Feodor Rojankovsky was a Russian artist working in Paris. He later emigrated to the USA.

perecastor3

His images must have been drawn directly onto litho stones or zinc plates. They have the freshness and immediacy of the artist’s hand. I don’t know why they have not been republished recently.

perecastor4

perecastor5

perecastor6

perecastor7

perecastor8

Each book tells the story of the life of the animal featured with humour and delight using narrative to catch the imagination of small children. I still love them and I am delighted to have found my childhood copies amongst my mother’s books as we clear her home.

Andrew Walton / The Rowley Gallery

Frames of reference
This entry was posted in Art, Books. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Père Castor

  1. Ruth says:

    Beautiful books, but I have honestly never met a kingfisher called Martin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.