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The illustrated children’s book came of age in the 18th century alongside the rising middle-class demand for economic and social advancement. Inspired by philosopher John Locke’s prescient insights into child development, London publisher John Newbery established the first commercial market for illustrated “juveniles” in the West, and the impact of the model he set for books tailored to the interests and capabilities of young readers has spanned the globe, spurring higher literacy rates, cultural enfranchisement, and a better life for generations of children.
In Pictured Worlds, renowned historian Leonard S. Marcus shares his incomparable knowledge of this global cultural phenomenon in the definitive reference work on children’s book illustration. The author of more than 25 award-winning books, Marcus here highlights an international roster of 101 artists of the last 250 years whose touchstone achievements collectively chart the major trends and turning points in the history of children’s book illustration. While some illustrators explored in this lively volume (John Tenniel, Maurice Sendak) have become household names, Marcus’s wide-ranging survey also shines a light on several lesser-known figures whose unique contributions merit a closer look. The result is a sweeping chronicle of a vibrant art form and cultural driver that has touched the lives of literate peoples everywhere. Over 400 illustrations showcase landmark books from Great Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Czech Republic, Russia, Japan, China, Korea, Bulgaria, Argentina, Cameroon, and more.