Plink Plink! Celebrate World Water Day with Vintage Children’s Illustrations circa 1954
A marvelous mid-century homage to Earth’s lifeblood.
By Maria Popova
Between 1957 and 1963, The Doubleday Book Clubs published a series of illustrated anthologies entitled Best in Children’s Books. Each of the few dozen numbered volumes contained a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, blending old works by established authors and artists with new works by emerging ones. The series is a treasure-trove of obscure gems by artists who eventually became cultural icons — from young Andy Warhol’s vibrant drawings to Maurice Sendak’s little-known Velveteen Rabbit illustrations.
To celebrate World Water Day today, here is Plink Plink! — an utterly delightful story about water’s all-important role in our world, written and illustrated by Ethel and Leonard Kessler in 1954, and published in Best in Children’s Books Volume 12.
Though the volume — which also features John Tenniel’s original illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — is sadly out of print, you can snag a used copy with some dedicated rummaging online.
Published March 22, 2012