Chapter V Toy Books and Early Modern Picture Booksけ

(2) Edmund Evans and Three Picture Book Artists

As printing techniques employed for illustrations in children's books evolved from manual coloring and multicolor chromolithography to colored wood engraving, the type of picture books for children called "toy books" reached the peak of popularity in the 1860s. Low-priced and larger in size than previous children's books, toy books had a totally new format: one book carried one story, with colored illustrations on pages that were left blank on the back. Frederick Warne & Co. and many other publishers produced numerous volumes that became quite popular.

Edmund Evans, an engraver who had been producing numerous beautifully colored books using an improved wood engraving technique, was not content with the generally gaudy colors used in the toy books of the time. He went on to create more tastefully colored books with his exquisite technique inspired by Ukiyoe.

Evans also greatly contributed to the diffusion of picture books with high artistic quality. He scouted for new talent among illustrators who possessed potential as children's picture book authors and worked with them, combining their artistic sensibilities with well-known stories and songs as motifs. Among his collaborators, the illustrators Randolf Caldecott (1846-1886), Walter Crane (1845-1915), and Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) greatly influenced later picture book making and illustrators.

The age of wood-engraved toy books, which came to an end as photographic printing became widespread, had a literally colorful grand opening, thanks to the great works by the three artists discovered by Evans.

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5-2-1
The Babes in the wood.(R. Caldecott's picture books ; [no. 4])
Publication etc.
[London] : G. Routledge & Sons, [1880]

Detail

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5-2-2
R. Caldecott's first collection of pictures and songs.
Publication etc.
London : F. Warne and Co., [19-- ]

Detail

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Jackanapes /
by Juliana Horatia Ewing ; with illustrations by Randolf Caldecott.
Publication etc.
London : Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, [1879]

Detail

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5-2-4
Lob lie-by-the-fire, or, The luck of Lingborough /
by Juliana Horatia Ewing ; illustrated by Randolph Caldecott ; engraved and printed by Edmund Evans.
Publication etc.
London : Society for Promoting Chirstian Knowledge, [1883?]

Detail

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The bluebeard picture book /
[illustrated] by Walter Crane.
Publication etc.
[London] : G. Routledge, [1875?]

Detail

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The Marquis of Carabas' picture book : containing Puss in boots, Old mother Hubbard, Valentine and Orson, The absurd ABC /
with thirty-two pages of illustrations by Walter Crane ; printed in colours by Edmund Evans.
Publication etc.
London : G. Routledge, [1873]

Detail

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A romance of the three Rs /
penned & pictured by Walter Crane.(Walter Crane's picture books. New series ; no. 1-3)
Publication etc.
London : M. Ward & Co., 1886.

Detail

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5-2-8
Language of flowers /
illustrated by Kate Greenaway ; printed in colours by Edmund Evans.
Publication etc.
London : G. Routledge and Sons, [1884]

Detail

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A day in a child's life /
illustrated by Kate Greenaway ; music by Myles B. Foster ; engraved & printed by Edmund Evans.
Publication etc.
London : G. Routledge and Sons, [1881]

Detail

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Marigold garden /
pictures and rhymes by Kate Greenaway ; printed in colours by Edmund Evans.
Publication etc.
London : G. Routledge and Sons, [1885]

Detail

Some works by Caldecott, Crane and Greenaway are viewable on The Picture Book as Stage, the online gallery The Picture Book Gallery on the website of the ILCL.