Occasionally i sell vintage treasures in my shop that i regret a little. Or that i did list for sale, but was secretly hoping nobody would buy, so i could’ve kept it. Sometimes i have something and i think it’s just time for it to move on to a new loving home. I can’t keep all the goodies to myself.
All of the above is true for this vintage book from the 1960s, A Paper Zoo – A Collection of Animal Poems by Modern American Poets.
I sold this book almost a month ago, and i truly hope the new owner loves it as much as i did. As i still do.
Before i shipped it, i scanned a few of my favorite pages. These type of illustrations is why i love to make illustrations myself (yes i do illustrations, no i haven’t found the time to do so in a long long time).
I love that it is a poetry book for children, but that the poems aren’t specifically written for children. The poems were selected by Renee Karol Weiss and the amazing amazing (intentionally double amazing) illustrations were done by Ellen Raskin.
In the book’s afterword Renee Karol Weiss explains that she found that young children will respond to the very best in art. As a kindergarten teacher she mixed Bach and Beethoven, and Roualt and Picasso in with more typical classic childrens music and images. She did the same with American Poets, mixing them in with childrens nursery rhymes.
The poems in A Paper Zoo were selected with the belief that the young child could enjoy them and continue to grow with them.
Being a new mother i like this way of thinking and i will definitely continue to try to expose my little boy to art both specifically aimed at kids, and ‘grown up’ art as well. For now i’ll save these images with the poems for him to enjoy. He has a couple of vintage lions on the walls of his nursery, so i think the page with the lion poem will be perfect to print and frame! Ellen Raskins art just screams out to be admired. Marvelous mod orange and green drawings, great to view from a little distance and so much detail to discover close up.