Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886) was a pioneer in the way he charmed his young readers with an innovative and engaging aesthetic approach to the picture book genre. In celebration of this remarkable achievement, Desmarais offers a convincing account of how Caldecott established a new standard of taste in children's picture books. The featured books are from the author's personal collection.
"Caldecott is today associated with the children's book award in his name, but few coverages provide more than a bow to his many achievements: for this you need Randolph Caldecott: His Books and Illustrations for Young Readers..Colour illustrations on nearly every page come from the author's personal collection and spice a strong literary history of not just Caldecott, but of children's picturebooks as a whole." California Bookwatch, November, 2006.
"This is an attractive exhibit catalogue, containing useful information about the production of Caldecott's books..." Leslie McGrath, University of Toronto Quarterly, Winter 2008
"Randolph Caldecott: His Books and Illustrations for Young Readers reads more like a little art book than a catalogue....I hardly ever see trade books put together this way anymore, and certainly not in Canada. One of the virtues of this edition is the genuine simplicity of design....Its approach is fresh and tasteful, with colour plates so clearly reproduced, you can even see the laid paper pattern on which the originals were printed." Charles van Sandwyk, Amphora #145, February 2007
"Filled with delicate colour plates of Caldecott's work, the book includes a critical introduction by Desmarais, as well as mini-essays that contextualize each book and point out unique features of the illustrations." Shirley Byers, Prairie Books NOW, Summer 2006
"A fan of Caldecott from boyhood, Desmarais fondly remembers perusing the master illustrator's work when he was in preschool. That oeuvre was broadly reprinted into the 1970s and'80s. Caldecott's impact continues to be felt in the children's book industry. A major industry award is named after him - the Caldecott Medal, presented by the American Library Association - and the themes that he pioneered endure." Gilbert A. Bouchard, the Edmonton Journal, June 16, 2006.