Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, July 24, 2021


 "All lions have tails:  some -- like the one here -- remarkably long ones.Some Lionels I know have 'Legends' instead.  The Lionel for which this was made is a great devourer of them, and he also has an appetite for pictures to paint..."

And so begins the preface to this children's book "in pen and pencil" by noted illustrator Walter Crane (1845-1915).  Crane "was one of the most important, versitile, and radical arists of the nineteenth century:  a painter, decorator, designer, book illustrator, poet, author, teacher, art theorist, and socialist."  Morna O'Neill, "On Walter Crane and the Aims of Decorative Art")

Legends for Lionel is a surreal trip through a child's landscape in which we meet Jack Frost, St. George, Jack Horner, King Frost, Green Spring. and Good Luck, as well as various animated and imaginative objects and foodstuffs.  Lionel's journey begins near Christmas time and continues through spring as he morphs from child to traveling tinker to magician.  Strange things happen.


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