Pond Life

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Puffin Picture Book No. 93
Drawn by Paxton Chadwick
Written by Jean Gorvett
Published by Penguin in 1952
Binding: Softcover
Condition: VG

Inspired by the Editions Père Castor books and the technique of autolithography used in the poster art of the time, the Puffin Picture Book series was initiated by Penguin in 1940. Penguin founder Allen Lane reasoned that evacuated city kids would need books on farming and natural history to help adjust to the country. And so began one of the most beautiful series of non-fiction books for children of all time.

How could a wartime publisher offer children cheap, beautiful books, without government subsidy – and at a profit? The answer lay in artists and illustrators working directly on lithographic plates, and thereby dramatically reducing production costs, a technique first pioneered in Soviet Russia. Although launched during the war, the series went on to inspire and educate kids for many years after.