Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More Illustrations from Feodor Rojankovsky's Just So Stories: "How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin" (1942)

First, let me stipulate for the record that Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories are wonderful and magical and way politically incorrect. Second, if you missed it before, here are the illustrations from another book in the series: Rojankovsky's version of How the Leopard Got His Spots. They were published in 1942 by Garden City (an imprint of Doubleday). Maybe because of the war, the quality of the paper and the binding was substandard. This particular copy is showing its age (note the water staining on the cover, and the bindings are quite loose), but the price was right, and I wouldn't trade this copy for anything. I suspect that if these had been produced for Golden Books a few years later--during Rojankovsky's long association with that company--these would have become iconic images, but for now they languish. Doubleday, are you out there? Compile these books and bring them back into print in one volume, please and thank you.

Rudyard Kipling's How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin (Garden City, 1942) - F. Rojankovsky

"Once upon a time, on an uninhabited island on the shores of the Red Sea, there lived a Parsee from whose hat the rays of the sun were reflected in more-than-oriental splendour."

"Them that takes cakes Which the Parsee-man bakes Makes dreadful mistakes."

"So he went home, very angry indeed and horribly scratchy; and from that day to this every rhinoceros has great folds in his skin and a very bad temper, all on account of the cake-crumbs inside."

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