Again (fortunately) it’s also one we enjoy reading with her. As with Oh no, George! the expressions on the dog’s face are excellent. E.g.:
I knew (because it says on the back cover) that the book is based on a traditional rhyme (although I hadn’t heard it before, as far as I can remember), and I was really interested to see an older version of it when I went to the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in Canterbury the other Friday afternoon. The Beaney held a retrospective (called Letting in the Light*) of the work of Ben Sands, a Kent based printmaker, and his printworks, the Shoestring Press. One of the produced at the press was a version of the Apple Pie ABC called the tragical death of a. apple pie*:
This copy of the book (made using linotype rather than woodcuts) was produced in 1966, but the style harks back to the medieval period, I think:
Perhaps it’s just that the character in ‘d’ looks a bit like a monk.
I wonder whether Alison Murray was influenced at all by Sands. The way her Apple Pie ABC is illustrated reminded me a lot of printmaking even before I’d seen Sands’ book in the museum, and the font used in both books is quite similar as well. It’s probably coincidence, but interesting anyway. I just find it fascinating how things are connected through time and place (or space, not to get too Doctor Who-esque); so a rhyme originating in the 17th century* is passed down and made into art in the 2oth century and a much-loved children’s book in the 21st.
*The full title is the tragical death of a. apple pie who was cut in pieces, and eaten by twenty-six little villains
*According to the guidebook, this title was taken from Sands’ description of the act of cutting into a block of wood.
*Or at least this is when it was first mentioned in print.