First edition. Most prominent among the Russian born artists who helped create the Père Castor phenomenon was Nathalie Parain (born Natalia Tchelpanova), who acquired her early training among the Russian avant-garde constructivists and brought her talent to Paris where she was discovered by Paul Faucher, the originator of Les Albums du Père Castor. In ALLONS VITE (Album du Père Castor No.9), she illustrates boldly coloured objects of simple shape depicting transportation modes, from a transatlantic passenger ship to a camel in the desert. Young readers are instructed to cut out copies of the images they see, using coloured sheets of paper bound into the book for the purpose and being careful to cut to the shape indicated by colour: for example, the brown shape of the camel is distinguished from the yellow background of the sand and the elements carried on his back further distinguished by colour. Once assembled, the child could glue his copies onto cardboard to hang and, then, move on to add other elements to the scene in this fashion or to create entirely new scenes. Thus, like the beaver or” le castor”, the child reader was also a constructor. Speaking of ALLONS VITE, Claude- Anne Parmegiani notes that “Natalie Parain expérimente les propriétés dynamiques de la couleur, susceptibles de suggérer la vitesse et le movement à l’aide de larges aplats.” (LES PETITS FRANÇAIS ILLUSTRÉS, 1860-1940, p. 281) See also Lemmens, A. and S. Stommels. RUSSIAN ARTISTS AND THE CHILDREN’S BOOK 1890-1992 for more on these Russian artists and their work in children’s literature. The title page has a paste-down identifying Celli as author and Parain as illustrator. A work that is very difficult to find with the colour sheets of paper still bound in. “Les images parlent tout de suite clairement...Elles bougent.”
Original flexible card covers printed in vibrant colours, some creases in the covers and a light overall dusting and shelfwear, spine rubbed; neatly penned previous owner’s name on title page, but a well preserved copy with all coloured tissue inserts present.
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