Saturday 5 October 2013

Dick Bruna - A moustachioed icon

Tis true to say the juiciest of apples doesn't fall far from the tree and this is certainly the case for Dick Bruna's 'The Apple' a book which first published a gob smacking 60 years ago but yet which remains as iconic and relevant as the day it was first published.

It is a comforting delight to see 'The Apple' popping up in book shops across the country again like a familiar old friend - each page instantly conjuring up memories of enjoying mini milk lollies and party ring biscuits whilst thumbing the pages of these bright bold and engaging books all those years ago (although I hasten to add I didn't read this particular book 60 years ago - perhaps 30 years ago but which still might be considered a frightfully long time.)   
Now published in over 50 languages (crumbs!) Bruna first created 'The Apple' in 1953 whilst working as a graphic designer in his father's publishing house in Amsterdam, it was his first experimentation with shape and form pre-dating his most recognisable character 'Miffy' the rabbit. 

Miffy with her trademark dots for eyes and a cross for a mouth

Tate are re-publishing 'The Apple' alongside 'The School' and 'On My Scooter' to mark the titles 60th Anniversary bringing Bruna's trademark style to a whole new generation to be explored and enjoy. 

'The Apple' tells the tale of a bright rosy red apple who falls from the tree - aggrieved that they will never get to see the world due to a lack of legs the apple befriends a weather vane rooster who in the dead of night whisks the apple off on a flight of wonderful discovery introducing the apple to lots of every day things which young readers will love to spot and point to.

As well as being the owner of (without contest) one of the finest moustaches Dutch artist Dick Bruna created a style which became instantaneously and timelessly iconic. Often imitated his bold black line and cleverly orchestrated pallet of bright contrasting colours captured the attention of young readers and became a staple additions to home libraries for generations of children across the globe. 

Dick 'The Tache' Bruna 

A trail blazing illustrator creating books of a convenient size for small hands and foresight and genuine interest in how children enjoy books. Perhaps one of the very first and arguable most successful brands but with an honest and joyful heart. 
I hope another 60 years worth of young readers will enjoy Bruna's books as much as we all have and if I could meet Dick now I would thank him, his books brought a comforting orange blush of sunshine to many a doctors / dentists waiting room

I'd love to hear about your memories of these wonderful books so please tweet me @maybeswabey #dickbruna

You can purchase ' The Apple in all good book shops and OBVIOUSLY Tate book shop online here 

With Many rosy thanks to Eleanor who sent me a copy of 'The Apple' (to replace the one which was loved to pieces many years previously. 

1 comment:

  1. Loved Dick Bruna as a child, so happy and reassuring! I remember really noticing his color choices. (That might be where my love of orange red began.) Thanks for the great post, Sniffer!


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