The Art of Book Design: The Absent Minded Fairy

Margaret Vandegrift. Illustrated by E.B. Bensell. The Absent Minded Fairy. Philadelphia, Ketterlinus Printing House, 1884.

The digital scans of this book contain a bit of extra love. Many of the pages have been hand-coloured in crayon to add a flourish to the original drawings, and I find them utterly charming. My favourite is page 19 with the elephant up a tree. The artwork is Victorian in flavour and the story itself is sweet and well told. I’ve included the first page that is without artwork because the opening sentence is delightful and sets the tone for all that follows. You’ll find all of the full-sized plates below the fold. Enjoy.

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The Art of Book Design: The Story My Doggie Told to Me

Ralph Henry Barbour. The Story My Doggie Told to Me. New York, Dodd Mead, 1914.

And so ends Dog Week. If you like the idea of theme weeks let me know because I have a few other ideas. I’m also open to any suggestions you may have so just let me know here in the comments or drop me a line at The address is in the sidebar just below the colourful, percolating skull.


via: The Library of Congress, where you can read the book and see all of the charming illustrations.