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Randolph Caldecott: March 22, 1846

MARCH 24, 2006
We owe Randolph Caldecott nothing less than our current concept of the children's picture book: "Caldecott created a new kind of picture book for children. A single story stimulated many associations, ideas that Caldecott set down on the page as they came to him in a series of spontaneous lightning sketches. He enlarged the story by interpreting the words with his pictures. The illustrations fill in what the words leave out, and the words fill in what the pictures leave out -both closely interwoven, each enhanced by the other." [source]
"Caldecott's drawings have the appearance of spontaneity and movement. His work was humorous but never malicious. Possessing vitality and humor, his books have endured to capture contemporary audiences. Since 1938, the American Library Association annually has awarded the Caldecott Medal in his honor for "most distinguished American picture book for children in the United States published during the preceding year." [source]
I find it interesting that Randolph Caldecott died just before he reached 40 years in St. Augustine, Florida. He is just so Victorian English for me. By this time he was internationally famous, was married (no children) and had retired to a country home. The Caldecotts frequently traveled abroad because of his fragile health.