And Then I Read: THE WORK OF E.H. SHEPARD

A combination art book and author biography, I enjoyed reading this and looking at the images. Shepard is best known for illustrating the Winnie the Pooh books, “The Wind in the Willows,” and many other British books for young readers. He was also a regular contributor to the British humor magazine “Punch,” and others. The casual lines of the Pooh illustrations are just one of many styles he employed, he was an excellent portrayer of the human figure, a fine painter, and his pencil sketches show amazing skill:

Kipper, as he was known from an early age, landed several scholarships at the Royal Academy, Britain’s premiere art school, and was never without work. Even while fighting in World War One he found time to get some work done for his publishers. Kipper seems to have been a cheerful and optimistic person, well liked by everyone who knew him. Some family tragedies like the early death of his mother, and the deaths of siblings and children, took their toll, but he was happily married all his adult life, generally made enough to support his family, though the wartime years were tough, and had a rather amazingly prolific career. He also wrote and illustrated two books of childhood memories, and a few children’s novels late in life, and did his last work for publication in his nineties. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1972, four years before his death, and his work on the Pooh books continued to be celebrated even then.

This was found at a used book store by a friend, and is well worth reading, though the text is a bit stodgy at times. Recommended.

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