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img029A Curious title and a funny book. Published in a small format (4.5″x7″) in 1964 by the Peter Pauper Press of Mount Vernon, New York.

img030For me the most interesting part are the illustrations by the German American illustrator Fritz Kredel (1900-1973). Kredel illustrated a 1947 text “Candide” by Voltaire for the Peter Pauper Press and perhaps had done other work for them as well.

Kredel was a well known illustrator with over 400 books illustrated by him in German and English.He came to the United States before WWII. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Grolier Club, the prestigious New York heaven for book collectors in 2000. One of Kredel’s favorite ways of expression was in the form of the woodcut, and in 1951 he shared an exhibition with another German, the type designer Herman Zapf. Scholarly presentations took place especially on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, the year 2000. The Limited Editions Club published several books with illustrations by Kredel.

Kredel’s images are usually witty and very quickly done, no retouching is visible in the many images you can find on the web, on this fine site.

Of Jewish interest is the so called Offenbacher Passover Haggadah done in 1927 in a limited edition visible on line at the Yale Library that also houses his archive. In anticipation of the Grolier Club Exhibition the Yale Library had an January exhibition in 2000 honoring the artist as well.

His birth town Michelstadt has a collection of some 500 books, woodcuts and drawings done for various fine presses in the Odenwald Museum. His work is regularly available on line and at better book sellers in limited editions such as here, and here.

Perhaps the illustrator is best known to the general reading public for the 1945 fairy tale book illustrated by him: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, but I like the smaller books, like this unexpected find, a perhaps not so rare Famous Insults.

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