Monday, November 9, 2009

Holling C. Holling -- Colourful Historic Fiction

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Holling Clancy Holling (1900 -1973), a prolific children’s book writer and illustrator, combined large, colorful, full-page illustrations with nature-themed books. His style combined fiction with history and he was therefore able to take children on a learning adventure.
Holling was born in Holling Corners, Michigan to an educated family which loved books. He loved to draw from early childhood as well as to spend time in the Michigan woodlands. Holling graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago and went to work for the Field Museum of Natural History. (Walter Alois Weber also attended the Art Institute and worked at the Field Museum, probably following Holling by several years.)
Holling met his wife Lucille while at the Art Institute. Eventually they worked together to illustrate many children’s books. They say Lucille worked on much of the border art. Seems like a very nice partnership.
Holling’s rich and brightly colored illustrative style was developed when he spent some time studying in New Mexico.

Children of Many Lands,above 1929, was one of the first children’s books he illustrated. It is fun to browse the colorful interpretations of children from Japan, China, Holland . . .

The Book of Indians, 1935 -- Swaths of desert peach creates an awesome illustration.

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More horses from Book of Indians:

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He is best known for the series of books he wrote and illustrated – historical fiction. Paddle to the Sea, was his first in this series. It traces the journey of a woodcarving made by an Indian boy through the Great Lakes and out to the Atlantic Ocean. See the drama in this illustration. He knew how to make geography fun.

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And the pretty cover of Seabird, a story about four generations of travel by a carved ivory gull.

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