Leslie Brooke was one of the best illustrators of books for little children.
In an autobiographical sketch he wrote: “For myself, I was born in Birkenhead, September 24, 1862, and had my art training in the Royal Academy Schools. Since then I have made a great many drawings—in every one of which the problem of how I should begin it has been only less disconcerting than the problem of how I should finish it off. In drawing for children there seems to be but one essential rule—draw what you yourself like drawing: the child will not mind a bit if there are things he does not quite understand, but if ever he gets the impression that anything was drawn by you with an eye on his parent first and not wholly on himself—well, you’re done for so far as that child is concerned.
Among all his charming drawings—some in black and white, and some in colors—the several he made for the never-old stories, published in 1904, are to be remembered: The Golden Goose, The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, Tom Thumb, some of them are shown in this page.
In this regard we can read an enthusiastic review written in 1913:
“Leslie Brooke is one in a thousand in his understanding of the kind of humor which pleases children and in his power as an ilustrator for children in the most wholesome and comical way. Children delight in the grotesque, in the simple fun of animals who act like folk and who are full of harmless antics. Did ever any “grown-up” more fully appreciate this than Leslie Brooke in his picturing these funny pigs, with their queer grimaces and clown-like appearance in the story of Three Pigs. In The Three Bears, these bears are humanized to a degree of drollery that compels laughter; in The Golden Goose, where the jollity just ripples over from every face pictured there, from the foolish simpleton and the astonished parson to the fat man who ate the mountain of bread! These picture books are a joke from beginning to end—just good-humored child fun which will make young and old alike turn to it as a friend time and time again. The Ilustrations are very beautiful and artistic as well, both as to coloring, simplicity of detail, childlike conception of action.”
The Three Bears
The Three Little Pigs
The Golden Goose
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