Our publishing team at Oxford University Press were doing happy little Snoopy dances about the last line of the review, heh heh. Actually, there were quite a few articles I was glad to read in Saturday's Review section, including one by Philip Pullman about Soviet-era children's books (read it here).
I've found the aesthetics of Russia from the very late 1800s to the early 1900s hugely inspiring, something I discovered while living in Moscow from 1996-'98. At the time, perhaps it was less about children's books, because it was hard to find good children's books for sale. (And while buying a Russian children's book in Homer, Alaska, the Russian bookshop owner told me that Russia now bans export of children's books printed before 1970.) I was more influenced then by animations on television and the revolutionary posters, which I first saw at the Mayakovsky Museum ...Oh dear, I just Googled it and there's an article in The Moscow Times saying it's being closed down for an unspecified period, and the curators are very worried about the preservation of its collection. Argh.
I loved the very limited colour palettes and textures of the low-tech printing techniques and hand lettering, and the flatness of the colours. I studied Avant-garde paintings while I was there, and on returning to the USA, starting seeing pictures of children's books by those same painters. I'd love to get a copy of the book Pullman's reviewing, Inside the Rainbow, edited by Julian Rothenstein and Olga Budashevskaya with a foreword by Philip Pullman and an essay by Arkady Ippolitov of The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. The Guardian website doesn't give much of a peek at the pictures, but you can see a bit more of the book over at Graphicart News website.
Along similar aesthetic lines, it's great to see Isabel Greenberg's The Encyclopedia of Earth Earth reviewed in The Observer! I love this book! (This was my review, with lots of pictures.) Read the full Observer article here!