I hadn't heard from Loïc for a while. Then out of the blue, he emailed an interesting link through. Interesting but not quite AS interesting as what he's been up to lately. A little while ago, after setting up Cligne Cligne Magazine, he met the head of French publisher Didier Jeunesse Michèle Moreau. Interested in Loïc's knowledge of long forgotten children's books, one thing led to another and Moreau asked Loïc if he'd be interested in managing a collection dedicated to "awesome children's books, unknown to most".
The plan is for Didier Jeunesse/Cligne Cligne to, periodically, publish "lost" children's classics with two done and two or three more to come next year. Here's a little more, from the publisher, about the first two:
Isn’t it ironic? One of the oldest books by Ann Jonas is also the one that looks like it had been drawn this very morning. The editor Susan Hirschmann was already working with Jonas' husband Donald Crews when she asked graphic designer Jonas to create something for children. She devised two books: When You were a Baby and Two Bear Cubs. The latter was first published thirty years ago but, strangely, was never reprinted.
Peter is back and he’s quite unhappy: he can’t whistle! This is the second of seven books featuring this young character written and drawn by Ezra Jack Keats between 1962 and 1972. And what happens? Almost nothing, or rather, a series of small experiences that make childhood rea. In this story, as in the others, the author gives back his own experience of the city as a kid.
Both books are skillfully illustrated: Ann Jonas' work clearly that of a graphic designer; simple black line work and flat colours from a limited palette. Meanwhile, Keats' illustration are beautifully textured and witty.