The King Penguins

I was thinking at the weekend about King Penguins. If you don’t know these books, here are a few examples – ending with my very battered copy of Life in an English village, with beautiful lithographic illustrations by Bawden.

76 King Penguins were published between November 1939 and 1959. They range in subject from Wild Flowers of the Chalk (King Penguin 31) to Magic Books from Mexico (King Penguin 64).

The cover of each book fizzes and sparkles, compressing within its small frame some of the finest examples of illustration that I can think of. Isn’t it time for a new series?

I took the photos on the quilt my mum made me in the 70s. Check out those fabrics, is this not the coolest thing you’ve seen!





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