Florida Sea Birds

I'm back from sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. My family and I had a great time
and spent a lot of time near the ocean. I managed to get some nice pictures of a few types of sea birds there. Between the sun, wind and moving birds it wasn't easy, but it was fun.

The little sandpiper above was constantly moving, making it difficult to take a picture. They have a quick funny little walk and are constantly scurrying, searching for food. They are amusing in groups, but I wasn't able to get a picture of a group.

I think this is another type of sandpiper, larger than the first two photos, with a longer beak and legs.

I did a little research to find out what the names were of some of the birds. I believe this is a Tricolor Heron.

We went on a boat ride to a barrier reef island. There were tons of sea birds at the dock where we boarded our boat. Brown Pelicans like the ones above were all over the place.

This Brown Pelican had a bead on me.

I think the Great Egret bird is very striking with it's white feathers, black legs and feet and yellow bill.

From this view it looks a bit knock-kneed.

Amazing how they can perch on one leg and not fall over on a boat bobbing in the water!

I really enjoyed taking pictures of these birds, I hope you liked looking at them!


Taking A Vacation...

My family and I are taking a vacation. We're going to Florida where it's nice and warm, a welcome relief from the cold and snow we've had here. I'll be back in a little over a week with part three of the Butterfly Ball And The Grasshoppers Feast and hopefully with a bit of a tan :>)


Deceptively Simple Vintage Children's Books

Sometimes simple things are the best. Like scrambled eggs and butter toast,
a tomato sandwich or a cup of soup, simply designed illustrations can be just what is needed. But simple is a misnomer here. While the illustrations below may look simple, a lot of time, planning and expertise went into the final product.

image via Etsy seller Thebeezkneezvintage

Henri's Walk to Paris by Saul Bass

From Sparkle And Spin by Paul Rand
image via brain pickings

I Can Count by Dick Bruna
image via Kids Book Review

From Monsieur Bussy, The Celebrated Hamster, 
Illustrated by Annick Delhumeau

From I Want to Be a Coal Miner

Little Oleg by Margaret and John Court
image via Draw! Pilgrim

A Cat Can't Count by Blossom Budney, illustrated by William Wondriska

space alphabet by Irene Zacks, pictures by Peter P. Plasencia


Vintage Children's Picture Books: The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshoppers' Feast Part Two

Here we are with Part Two of The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper's Feast
by Alan Aldridge and William Plomer. Aldridge received the Whitbread Children's Book Award for this book in 1973. The Whitbread awards, started in 1971, are given to authors based in Great Britain or Ireland. (Since 2005 they have been called the Costa Book Awards, when Costa Coffee, a subsidary of Whitbread, took over the sponsorship.) These awards, given in five different categories, are for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading to the widest possible audience. 

More illustrations from the book: 


"Toad in Bed"

"Miss Money Spider"


Alan Aldridge (1943 -) like William Roscoe also hails from England. He started his career working for The Sunday Times Magazine as an illustrator. Aldridge was hired by Penguin Books in 1965 as an art director after doing some freelance book covers for them. There he developed his style and created over 100 modern book covers that were in sync with the time. 

In 1968 Aldridge started his own graphic design firm, INK. He became a graphic design star to iconic rock bands such as the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Elton John, designing many album covers that set the pace for graphic style in the 60's and 70's. He was referred to as the "Graphic Entertainer" and a contemporary Aubrey Beardsley.  John Lennon called him "His Royal Master of Images." Aldridge nicknamed himself "The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes" after a song by the Beatles. In 2008 his book of this title was published, to view it: Thames & Hudson

To read more about Alan Aldridge: 

Captain Fantastic Album Cover
Image via Chart Stats

Album Cover, A Quick One, for The Who

The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics,
Image via debut art

Stay tuned for Part Three!  


Vintage Children's Book: The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper's Feast, Part One

Today's vintage children's book, The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper's Feast, by Alan Aldridge and William Plommer, has some interesting history behind it. First of all, the book is based on a poem written by William Roscoe in 1807. The poem is about a highly anticipated party attended by insects and small animals.

But first, let's take a look at the original book. (Images are from The Project Gutenberg)

A short bio on Roscoe: William Roscoe (1753-1831) was born in Liverpool. A smart fellow, he left school at the tender age of 12, having learned all the schoolmaster could teach him. He then helped his father, a market gardener, studying and reading in his free time. This was a happy period in his life and gardening and agriculture were lifelong interests. 

Roscoe studied law, became a lawyer, married and had 10 children. He was also a writer, well liked and an expert in the language and literature of Italy. To read more about Roscoe go to this link.

Here is a later version of The Butterflys' Ball, published around 1886. (All images are from the Ball State University Digital Media Repository.)

Aldridge and Plomer's spin on Roscoe's poem resulted in elaborate and highly detailed illustrations and a much expanded and lengthy poem. Here are some of the characters in the book.

"Harold The Herald"

"Mrs. Dormouse"

"Old Blind Mole"

"Esmeralda, Seraphina and Camilla"

"Harlequin Hare"

"Major Nathaniel Gnat"

"Happy-Go-Lucky Grasshopper"

To be continued...