Monthly archive: October 2013

Country creatures

My new book is out in 3 weeks time! It is very exciting, as it includes some of my woodland creatures as 3D popouts inside the book! I will be revealing all the creatures soon but in the mean time, in the run up to publication, I am going to share with you some of my favourite creatures, starting with the wonderful illustrations by John Hanna.

About a year ago I was digging around in a box of old books in a local junk shop. The owner asked if I was looking for anything in particular and I said that I was always on the look out for books with interesting covers. He said he had something that I would like and produced a pile of Country Fair magazines. I bought the whole lot!

I had one copy already that I had bought years ago but I knew nothing about the magazine, only that I loved the front covers!

I had tried researching John Hanna but not not come up with a lot of information and it wasn’t until a few months later that I learnt a lot more. I was lucky enough to be part of an event run by designer maker Jenny Duff and was soon to discover that Jenny had been given the permission to produce a series of table mats using the original covers.‎

Jenny was able to fill in a few gaps and point me towards an article in Creative Review.

John Hanna was an Australian illustrator who moved to london in 1947 and created a series of illustrations for Country Fair magazine in the early 1950’s. All of them depict a creature from the country side. They are really lovely, beautifully designed and bursting with character.

Jenny was offered the images by the family of the publisher Macdonald Hastings, who edited Country Fair. The family remember using copies of the magazine as table mats, so it seems really fitting that they are being used in this way, for all to enjoy!

I have the froggy mat from one of my favourite covers and below are a few more of my favourites!