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Tomfoolery!

Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious

Coming-of-Age of Children's Books


A TRUE TALE WITH

A CHERRY ON TOP

Chronicle Books

(pub. 11.14.2023) 44 pages

Author: Michelle Markel

and illustrator: Barbara McClintock


Character: Randolph Caldecott


Overview:

" Quick! If you don’t move fast, you’ll miss him—there he goes—Randolph Caldecott, future famous illustrator. His sketchbook is full of hurly-burly: wild weather, frisky animals, and people so sprightly they can barely hold onto the pages. But in the 1850s, there were no children’s books like that. Not yet.


Many books are published, but their pictures look stiff, full of pretty poses and cluttered scenery. No one has imagined how much fun an illustrated book could be because the future hero of children’s book illustration is still just a lad. Join Michelle Markel and Barbara McClintock for a riotous adventure through the seminal history of children's books—their art, their joy, and the man who changed them for good."

Tantalizing taste:


" SO MANY PEOPLE, SO MANY SIGHTS, SO MUCH TO SKETCH

FOR THE NEWSPAPERS!


Randolph goes to sessions of Parliament, to fashionable weddings,

to boat races on the river, where he gets squashed in the squishingest

crowds he's ever seen.


But at night, alone in his workshop,

he misses his friends.

He misses living in the country.

Sometimes, on his letters, he draws

himself as a sad, frumpled cartoon.


Randolph wants to be the best artist

he can be. He's not as skilled as the famous

illustrators, painters, and sculptors

he meets - people who've studied in fine

academies, in Paris.

Could he ever do the kinds

of things they do?"


And something more: The Back Matter of TOMFOOLERY! abounds with interesting information, such as references to Caldecott's own art in the book, Annotations (timeline), information about Illustrated Victorian Periodicals, Toy Book Illustrators: The Big Three, a list of Picture Books By Caldecott, and a Bibliography. The ANNOTATIONS state: "During a trip to America in 1886, Caldecott's life was cut short by illness. But he will always be remembered. In 1937, when the American Library Association created a medal for the artist of the most distinguished American picture book - their highest honor - they named it after Randolph Caldecott."

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