ALL A-GROWING. The Adventures of Two Young Gardeners.
London: W.H. & L. Collingridge Ltd. (1943). Illustrated by Helen Haywood and accompanied by over 35 of her original sketches for the work. Helen Haywood, born in 1907, was a prolific illustrator ( publishers included Thomas Nelson, Hutchinson & Co.) with a special gift for rendering plants and animals ( her publishers included Thomas Nelson, Hutchinson & Co.). Also, she executed fore-edge paintings and binding art work for Bayntun Riviere Bindery in Bath. In fact, she was the granddaughter of binder Robert Riviere. ( For photographs of her work on bindings see Stephen J. Gertz's article, "The Binding Paintings of Helen R. Haywood" in his blog, BOOKTRYST, Oct. 3, 2012). Her suitability for St. Vincent's book, specifically written to stimulate children's interest in gardening, was obvious. The text itself it is full of instruction and detail rendered through a narrative. On a visit to their cousins' country home, two city children are inspired to plan a garden and to cultivate flowers and vegetables back in their own urban setting. As a reward for their success and industry, they are given an allotment garden. The character of a rather mysterious Mr. Midge who appears over a wall one day to help them learn about gardening is a special feature. The way Mr. Midge is depicted is particularly important to the author, St. Vincent, as we see in her correspondence with the publisher, some of which is included here. Helen Haywood's original illustrations comprise 31 pencil sketches on sketching paper of varying sizes from 19.5 cm to 25 x 20cm, identified or captioned: a mounted pencil sketch of a garden plan mounted on board; pen and ink illustrations for a tail piece, also mounted on board; a rough sketch for a title on the dust jacket; a "cover rough" in pencil; a large cover design in pencil ( 32 x 23.5); a small watercolour for an unused cover design ( 8.2 x 6 cm), etc. A pleasing archive for the creation of a war time children's gardening book by a sensitive artist. Large 12mo (20.1 x 16.5 cm); 128 pp with 15 black and white full page illustrations and numerous text illustrations including head and tail pieces; with 1 typed letter, single page on recto, identified as "copy" from the editor, Hedley Willis, to the author urging her discussion with the illustrator; a 4 page typed letter, rectos only, signed by St. Vincent discussing illustrations; 1 typed letter providing a description useful for the creation of a picture, signed "I"; list of illustrations for the book arranged according to the month, 2 pp. typed. The working illustrations by Heywood include: A large dust jacket cover design in pencil (32 x 23.5 cm); a small and different watercolour design for the jacket cover ( 8.2 x 6 cm); a"cover rough", not used, 32 x 23.5 cm in pencil;
Original cloth, slightly darkened at upper cover and spine; some rust staining at gutters on front and rear endpapers; text fresh and bright; in chipped, torn, and darkened dust jacket with illustrations on upper portion. Quite a good copy. Original art work in varied condition, some thumb-soiling and correction; correspondence on onion skin paper casually marked.
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