Art publisher Thames & Hudson is celebrating pioneering illustration from the past century with its new 20th-century Children’s Classics strand. It has been spearheaded by Roger Thorp, who has developed the publisher’s children’s list since taking up the role of editorial director for its art and children’s books in autumn 2014.
He explained: “I feel it’s important to recognise that our current illustrators are part of a historic tradition of book design and illustration that has made it possible for contemporary illustration to flourish.” The classic titles will be selected for being “the finest examples of book illustration”, as well as for their “significance in terms of the history of illustration”.
The first book in this new strand will be Locomotive, a 1939 Polish title written by poet Julian Tuwim and illustrated by Jan Le Witt and George Him, on 24th August. It will feature a special “A 20th-Century Children’s Classic” sticker on the jacket. Thames & Hudson will publish at least one book a year under this imprint, with the second, a facsimile edition of Quentin Blake’s A Drink of Water, coming in October 2017.
Thorp added: “These are books where the illustrations remain as striking and effective as ever and the stories are timeless. It’s a privilege to be able to bring such innovative and influential artists and their books afresh to a whole new readership.”