Sunday, April 10, 2011

Charlie Yup's cast of characters

Hand-drawn two-page spread of figure studies for Flora's third book for young readers, Charlie Yup and His Snip-Snap Boys (1959). The pages, which do not appear in the published edition, were scanned from the Dr. Irvin C. Kerlan children's literature collection at the U of Minnesota.

On the mock title page at right, the author refers to the book as "An Old Fashioned Scissor and Paper Adventure." Although the characters above were drawn in pencil and painted in tempera, a few draft pages (later donated by Flora to Dr. Kerlan), including an early version of the title page, feature hand-cut figures glued to the paper.

The explanatory note atop the left page was intended for Margaret McElderry, the legendary children's book editor who in the mid-1950s encouraged Flora to embark on a secondary career that yielded 17 titles (all edited by McElderry) in 27 years. Charlie Yup is the hardest-to-find of the vintage Flora books, rarely turning up at auction or in the listings of antiquarian booksellers.

McElderry passed away in February at the age of 98.

No comments: