Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jackieboy's Journey

My childhood was full of life-shaping things. I believe my exposure to antiques has given me a unique perspective among my peers. When I was very young, my mother introduced me to a book that I still treasure today. It was called Jackieboy in Rainbowland by William Hill, published in 1911. The illustrations for the charming story were done by the fantastic Fanny Y. Cory. She was quite a prolific illustrator in her time. Her work, prized today for its whimsy and beauty, is often sought as decor for nurseries.

Jackieboy is the story of the title fellow on his trip through the Rainbow Country, a trip afforded him by a strange but amiable witch. He starts his journey in a land filled with all sorts of red things, from fruit and flowers to Red Riding Hood herself. He then journeys to Orange Country and Yellow Country, where he encounters Goldilocks. On he goes to Greenland to travel with the Green Huntsman. His trip ends on the other side of Blue Country when he meets the witch again in a land of violet.

s book is a wonderful study in colors, mentioning many things associated with each color the way a color-learning book today would, but the story and illustrations are like none other. A creative mind is always stimulated, but I believe it's important to take in all manner of things from all manner of time periods. Though the story and illustrations were published nearly 100 years ago, the technique and creativity are still alive and well. The next time you have an opportunity, take a look at some old books, you may just be surprised at what you find.

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