Authors - October 17, 2012

Peter Newell

Peter Newell illustrated books for several famous authors before beginning his own writing and illustrating career. Most notably, he illustrated Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” and Mark Twain’s “Innocents Abroad.” Newell further built his career doing illustrations and writing poems that appeared in such magazines as “Harper’s Weekly” and “The Saturday Evening Post.”

Born March 5, 1862, Peter Newell began drawing at a young age on anything possible such as barn doors and wagon wheels. He continued to draw once out of high school, creating crayon portraits. Newell knew, however, that he was drawn toward cartoon illustrations and began to submit illustrations to magazines and was quickly accepted into the publishing world with open arms.

After finding his footing in the world of illustration, marrying and becoming a father, Newell found inspiration in his beloved children. Seeing one of his children confused about the direction in which to read a book, Newell was inspired to create the two volume set called “Topsys & Turvys,” which Newell devised so that it could be read in either direction. Children could transform images from one animal form to another, or change ladies to butterflies with this inventive series.

Newell followed up this creative children’s book with others including “A Shadow Show” and “The Slant Book.”

Coming up on the 100th anniversary of “The Rocket Book,” which is the sequel to “The Hole Book.” In “The Rocket Book,” a hole fills the center of the book’s pages to show the aftereffects of the first book.

Filled with humor and charm, these books are clever curiosities and intriguing entertainment for children.

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