I think I must be a big kid at heart because I like nothing better than discovering that a book I've just bought is illustrated in some manner, be it glorious paintings, pencil sketches or even just pretty chapter headers. Three recent purchases are a case in point.
The first is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Now, I have a couple of copies of this wonderful book already. So, when I saw another in a local National Trust shop I looked briefly at it, saw it was fabulous but that it was £15 and walked away. But these things nag at you don't they? I went back for a closer look, actually left the shop then, and then couldn't get this gorgeous book out of my head. So yes, you're ahead of me... I went back *again*... and decided to buy myself a rather early birthday present. This is what I treated myself to:
The book is lavishly illustrated on every page by Robert Ingpen and I've done my best to photograph a few of the paintings.
I think that it is easily the most beautiful copy of The Wind in the Willows I've ever seen and after I *had* seen it, there was no way I could leave it behind. And everyone who's looked at it since reckons it's worth every penny of what I paid for it
Then there was an Oxfam shop find - Encounters with Animals by Gerald Durrell.
I didn't really bother to look to look inside, I saw what it was, saw that it was only £1.49 and bought it. When I got it home I found that it was illustrated with some lovely pencil drawings, the artist being Ralph Thompson. These photos aren't too great but they give you an idea.
And last but not least Dragons of Autumn Twilight which is the first in the Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, recently blogged about by deslily at Here, there and everywhere.
I pounced on this one in yet another Oxfam shop. It's the paperback not the hardback so I hardly expected an illustrated version, but that was what I got! I took photos of these too but they really are not good, this one being the best and will give you an idea of the drawings that are all through the book. The artist here is Denis Beauvais.
I really think it must have been my lucky week. Wandering into town yesterday and up to the market I came across a stall with a sign that said, ' The books on these two tables are free to a good home, please help yourself '. So I did.
I have to admit, I felt like a thief walking away without paying and kept expecting a tap on the shoulder! But wow... seven free books and I could have taken loads more, but thought I'd exercise a bit of self restraint for once. Where books are concerned I'm not exactly famous for it...