From the Mundane to the Magical and Beyond!, Muse White
Before spotlighting a picture book, it seemed fitting to make my first post pay homage to a wonderful bibliography. I recently learned about Mus White's, From the Mundane to the Magical and Beyond: Photographically Illustrated Children's Books 1854-1945, while researching an article about photography in children's fiction. In the bibliography's introduction, White makes no pretense about the impossibility of cataloguing every book and admits to a focus on English-language titles. This 265 page book includes 24 pages of over 50 images (I still wish there were more!) She indexes by series (146), by title chronologically (over 1,300), and also by recognizable photographers à la Ansel Adams (who knew?). You will discover unknown artists, like Arthur B. Phelan and his The Jaunts of Junior. Its mind-blowing photo montages required that I continually remind myself this was made in 1911 - without a computer (Phelan's Jaunts will be the subject of my next post.) You will also find recognizable authors like Harry Whittier Frees with his dressed up kittens, pups and bunnies, and Hans Christian Andersen. Photographers will appreciate White's descriptions of each book's photographic process and the chronological listing. One can see how photography changed through the decades.
White chose to stop at the year 1945. She stated that this was the year television changed our world. I hope someone will create a follow up as there are certainly many wonderful titles since. I found From the Mundane to the Magical at my local library and online for purchase (second hand.) Like the many books it catalogues, it too is out of print... yet, definitely worth finding.
Find it &