Today is my day to channel Vintage Kids Books My Kid Loves.
My mom visited us a week or so ago, and brought with her a bunch of books she’d picked up at the library sale in her town. They were all animal encyclopedia books, for the most part, because those are Henry’s bread and butter (literally, sometimes, since he is the boy of, “I don’t need food! Just need books!”). He spent hours going through all of them, and at one point I sat next to him and started leafing through this great-looking Golden Book of Biology.
I looked at it for a minute or two, and had this feeling of, “Why do I want to decorate my entire house with the illustrations in this book?” I said, out loud, “The drawings in this book are amazing.” You know how I have a bit of a bird fetish; this book is a wonderland of amazing bird drawings. Then I flipped back to the front and saw “Illustrated by Charles Harper” and a little bell went off in my head. “I think…” I said tentatively, “That Charles Harper is this famous design illustrator guy. If it’s the guy I’m thinking of, his estate just reissued a bunch of board books, and last year Old Navy sold some coloring books of his images.” I checked on Amazon.com, and sure enough, it’s the same guy (later known as Charley Harper). Copies of this book start at $250.
I spent a good hour curled up in the corner, going through this book. Every page has multiple, full-color, amazing, beautiful illustrations. The birds, like I said, are phenomenal. Now I just have to figure out how I can relegate this book to my side of the bookcase, both to keep it in the pristine shape it’s in, and also so I can refer to it as the jumping-off point for every design decision I make, ever.