By Cathy Olmedillas
Hello. I am Cathy, the founder of Anorak Magazine, and I am very proud to be part of the Red Barn family. I, with the help of some super talented illustrators and artists, have been making Anorak since 2006 and we are all very excited about the launch of our North American editions with our friends at Gibbs Smith Books.
A lot of parents who buy Anorak have mentioned that it reminds them of the books and annuals they used to get when they were kids. That’s exactly why I launched Anorak. Because the magazines, annuals and comics we used to get in the ’60s or ’70s, were a lot more fun and were of a higher quality than the hyper-commercial ones that are currently available. Unsurprisingly, one of my main sources of inspiration for Anorak is those very same ’60s and ’70s annuals I used to read.
I LOVE them because not only do they remind me of my childhood but they also were so beautifully crafted. The quality and diversity of illustration styles in them never cease to amaze me. They absolutely influence the sort of illustrators I commission in Anorak. I have collected a few over the years, picking them up from car trunk sales, charity shops and eBay. If I see one from the ’70s, it is very, very difficult for me to resist buying it!
Here are some of my favourites:
Lenny the Lion. Published in Great Britain. 1959.
I must confess even though I have gone through that book more than any others, I have never read it! I love the illustrations, the thick coated paper and the fact that each section only uses one colour. Very simple but really stunning.
Soft Toys and Dolls. Published in California. 1977.
This craft book is like a trip down memory lane for me. My Mum used to knit us puppets when we were kids, not dissimilar to the ones you will find in that book. The animal foot cozies and Louis Looselimbs are just hilarious!
Playhour. Published in Great Britain. 1975.
I have a few of these and they are such a delight because they have tons to read and do. They have a great mixture of poems, educational pieces, crazy stories (Ringo Frog thinks he is Neptune?!) and creative activities.
For more vintage books goodness, I would highly recommend you visited Vintage Children’s Books My Kid Loves, an amazing blog by Burgin Streetman who unearths some real gems, or follow Silver Shoes and Rabbit Holes on Pinterest by Danzel whose collection makes me drool, or finally head over to Vintage Avenue’s blog by Sarah (also a talented illustrator) and who showcases some of the most amazing ’60s artists.
Win a Free Copy of ANORAK!
Share your favourite vintage children’s books in the comments box below and we will randomly pick 3 winners to receive a copy of Anorak. Competition ends Monday, January 28 at 6 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time). Good luck!