Thursday, May 12, 2011

Guest Post: A Boy Named John

As previously mentioned, I've offered to let readers guest post about some of their favorite children's books. Meet Jill who has recently taken on the mantel of attempting to chronicle her beloved collection on a blog called The Art of Children's Picture Books. Welcome her and have a fabulous day!

A Boy Named John
Ruth and Roland Tiemann ~ Platt & Monk, 1948

I don't think I could pick a favorite book of mine. When it comes to vintage children's picture books, I'm like a kid in a candy store. But I chose A Boy Named John for a guest post because I read it to my son, John, when he was young. It seems appropriate as Burgin's blog is about books that she finds and reads to her son.

For a child reading this, even now, it is entertaining while teaching about kids in other countries. An updated version of this would be really fab, because the concept is timeless and also I think, very appealing to children.

I like the layout of this book. On the left page of each spread there is a short snippet about what life was like for a boy who lived in that particular country. I think the handwriting with the small illustrations is fun and a nice contrast to the right hand page. This page shows a boy dressed in the style of his country with some architecture in the background. In the corner is the country's flag. Simple, neat, effective and well drawn!

My book doesn't have a dj, but I found one on Amazon and have included it. In doing a quick search I didn't find any information about Ruth or Roland Tiemann, but it appears Roland was the author and Ruth the illustrator.

I couldn't resist including a picture of my own John when he was little. Where did that little boy go to? Well, he's almost 17 and a junior in high school. Drives us crazy sometimes. (teenagers, sigh)

Hey, Burgin here. I did a little snooping about the authors as I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of two artists being married and working together.... seems so romantic, but anyways... the only real mention I could find was a brief one in the obituary of their son, a physicist who died in 2006 -- an only child with the middle name Johnson. If anyone knows anything about these two chime in, as any couples that live to be 94 and 96, respectively, should be applauded for their efforts!


Read along on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter and Etsy!


Max said...

Thatched cottages and kippers, I love it! It reminds me a little of an old kids book I used to have, about "homes" in different countries. A Dr Suess book if I remember correctly.
I really, really like your blog.
I have just posted about our favourite retro New Zealand childres book if your interested :0)

Burgin Streetman said...

Thanks Max... I think Come Over to My House is the book you are talking about.

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the great post, Jill!

Anonymous said...

I've had this book since I was a boy in the 1950s. Many memories of sweet times. My name is.....John.

Unknown said...

Ruth and Roland Tiemann were my grandparents! We love this book too. They had a number of other books that they wrote, but never published.

Unknown said...

I too am related to the Tiemanns! They were my great-grandparents, and my mother still has a copy of this book! A true treasure! Roland was quite the artist as well; my parents house is filled with several of his pieces, mostly oil paintings. I also have a few of Ruth's works of art in my home, prints from the 1920's that are gorgeous!

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